According to The Star newspaper in Kenya, GE is reconsidering its investment in the Lamu coal plant, following a letter sent to the company by a group of 56 institutional and individual investors, as well as advocacy groups, As You Sow and Proxy Impact, calling on the company to reconsider its recent decision to acquire a 20 percent stake in the plant. Lamu is one of Kenya’s top tourist destinations and home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Star quotes professor Daniel Kammen, Director of Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, saying, "GE has apparently agreed to reconsider their support and investment in the Lamu coal plan.
"From my published analysis, the absurdly costly economics of the Lamu coal-fired power plant have been clear for years."
The investor letter highlights the concern that the proposed coal plant will have environmental, health and climate impacts and pose significant threats to local communities and industries like fishing and tourism—industries that many Lamu citizens depend on for their livelihoods. Further, the investors say, the coal plant will undermine Kenya’s commitment to, and GE’s public support for, the Paris Climate Agreement and will significantly increase electricity rates in Kenya. Finally, the letter notes that the Lamu coal plant is a counterproductive step for GE that “is likely to lead to reputational risks that jeopardize its social license to operate.”