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27 Jul 2015

groundWork, Friends of the Earth (So. Africa)

So. Africa: NGOs host online launch of 'Ignorant Bliss': hard hitting documentary on the negative health impacts of coal

'Hard hitting SA coal and health documentary launched online', 27 July 2015:...The…groundWork and Friends of the Earth International film [The Bliss of Earth] investigates South Africa's complex relationship with…coal. Experts are predicting the creation of a 'sick' generation in the Mpumalanga Highveld region…home to 12 of the world's largest power stations. This documentary looks at the impact of South Africa's energy policy…on public health…At the time of production, [state power utility] Eskom was awaiting decision from the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) on the utility’s application for the majority of its coal-fired power stations…to be exempt from complying with stricter ambient air emission standards…put in place…to protect people from heavy air pollution…In February 2015…Eskom…[was] granted five years grace from complying with these…standards, making this film ever more timely and relevant...Set against the wider climate change debate…Bliss of Ignorance highlights how the mining and burning of coal affects the environment; polluting air and valuable water resources in a water-scarce country…[Business and Human Rights Resource Centre has previously invited Eskom to respond to concerns regarding the negative impacts of its coal operations; the response can be found here]