News / 20 June 2010

Dutch TV broadcast: ‘Power stinks!’ Both ENDS partners speak out.

The Dutch news programme Netwerk will be broadcasting two items called 'Stroom stinkt!' (Power stinks) today and on Thursday about the origin of coal used in the Netherlands. Many Dutch energy companies use coal from developing countries like South Africa and Colombia to generate electricity. The working conditions in mines are often very bad and coal mining has tremendous impact on the environment and local living conditions. Farmland is destroyed and ground- and drinking water become polluted with chemicals used in the mines. Both ENDS' partners from South Africa and Colombia tell their story in the broadcast.


Matthews Hlabane from the Green Revolutionary Council in South Africa and Andrea Becerra of the Colombian ILSA organisation were the head speakers at a Political Café held by Both ENDS in The Hague on 25 March 2010. During the debate, they spoke to other guests - including one from energy company Essent - about their personal experiences with coal mining. Matthews Hlabane from the mining city of Witbank told about the fish and crocodile deaths in a nearby nature reserve, caused by heavy chemicals. But he also mentioned the dozens of fatal accidents caused by heavy landslides and open mine shafts.

It is crucial that Dutch and European energy companies pay more attention to the local impacts of coal mining. Cheap energy in the Netherlands should not be detrimental to humans and the environment in the countries of origin. Both ENDS has entered talks with Dutch energy companies about this topic.


Stroom stinkt! will be broadcast on Tuesday, 29 June and Thursday, 1 July from 20:30 to 21:00 by Netwerk on the Nederland 2 channel. To watch the two episodes please check below.


Also see the factsheet Both ENDS wrote and shared with a number of Dutch parliamentarians (only in Dutch).


For more information on the environmental and social impacts of coal mining in developing countries and the role of Dutch energy companies, contact Tim Senden or call 020 530 6600.


Photo by: chrismar on

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