Press release: Drax targeted at power station in Yorkshire, on day of company AGM

Drax is the largest coal-fired power station and the single greatest emitter of carbon in the UK and is now the biggest biomass power station in the world.

People and Planet Sheffield, a human rights and environmental activist group, is protesting at Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire, at 11.30am today, the day of Drax’s AGM.

We hope to raise awareness of the environmental destruction Drax is causing and its contribution to climate change and to show our opposition to Biofuels.

We would be be more than happy to answer any questions or interviews, we will be here at Drax from 11.30am onwards.

Please contact us on 07852681355 or 07792677281

Many thanks,
People and Planet Sheffield

PRESS RELEASE

People and Planet Sheffield, a human rights and environmental activist group, protested at Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire, at 11.30am today, the day of Drax’s AGM. Drax is the largest coal-fired power station and the single greatest emitter of carbon in the UK. Now it is also the biggest biomass power station in the world, burning wood pellets made from over 8 million tonnes of wood in 2014.

Burning of biomass is classed as ‘renewable’ energy production, however burning wood for electricity is no less disastrous for the climate than burning coal. Per unit of electricity, biomass actually emits more CO2 from smokestacks than burning coal does. Moreover, Drax imports wood from mature hardwood forests in the Southern US, clearfelling huge biodiverse tracts of forest. As a result of its ‘renewable energy’ classification under EU and UK legislation, Drax is entitled to enormous subsidies – more than £1 million a day from the UK Government. Without the subsidies and biomass conversion, Drax would have suffered a similar fate to many other coal-fired power stations in the UK – it would have been shut down.

This year, People and Planet Sheffield successfully campaigned for the University of Sheffield to divest from fossil fuels, and are now turning their attention to the largest emitter of carbon in the UK- Drax.

Eliza Rea-Miotto, who studies Environmental Science stated “When it is so clear that true renewables are the key to an environmentally sustainable future, it is heartbreaking to see mass environmental destruction carried out in the name of ‘renewable energy’. Today we stand together to demand an end to huge government subsidy of Drax’s biomass burning, and to demand a cleaner future of energy generation.”

Another student protester, Vaughan Fleming, also stated “The conversion of Drax to biomass is a clear attempt at greenwashing. Not only does biomass energy emit more CO2 than even coal, the deforestation of bio-diverse forests in the US and the energy used to ship that wood to the UK makes it completely unsustainable. Government subsidies should be going to truly clean energy production and not used to fund yet more climate damaging projects like this.”

The group hopes that by raising awareness of the negative impacts of biomass burning, the government will change their policies for subsidising unsustainable energy companies. Drax’s share prices have plummeted in recent years, as awareness of the detrimental impacts of this industry have begun to filter into public consciousness.

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