Intergovernmental Climate Report Leaves Hopes Hanging on Fantasy Technology

Intergovernmental Climate Report Leaves Hopes Hanging on Fantasy Technology, Truth Out, article by Rachel Smolker

Trees, Trash, and Toxics: How Biomass Energy Has Become the New Coal

Trees, Trash, and Toxics: How Biomass Energy Has Become the New Coal, by Mary S. Booth, Partnership for Policy Integrity

Senegal Surrendering Our Future

Oakland Institute Report: “Surrendering Our Future: Senhuile-Senethanol Plantation Destroys Local Communities and Jeopardizes Environment

Treasury response to MP about public loan guarantees for big biomass

See here and here for a response by the Treasury to a letter sent by Charlotte Leslie MP.  Note that

+ The Treasury states that they do not consider sustainability in their assessment and due diligence under the Guarantee Scheme, i.e when deciding to which projects they’ll give public loan guarantees

+ The Treasury refers to biomass sustainability standards which apply to subsidies – but those don’t actually exist.  They have been proposed by DECC since 2010 but have been delayed twice so far, currently to April 2015, but with no guarantee that any standards will be introduced then.  The proposals have been condemned as wholly inadequate by NGOs.

Biomass Sustainability Standards – a Credible Tool for Avoiding Negative Impacts from Large-scale Bioenergy?

Biomass Sustainability Standards – a Credible Tool for Avoiding Negative Impacts from Large-scale Bioenergy?

Briefing by Biofuelwatch, Global Forest Coalition and Econexus

Biofuelwatch briefing about Contracts for Difference and bioenergy

Subsidising Biomass Electricity – Contracts for Difference and what they mean for dedicated and converted biomass power stations

See here for an email alert on this issue.

Biochar’s Unproven Claims – Factsheet

Biochar’s Unproven Claims

A 3-page factsheet summing up the main findings of the 2011 Biofuelwatch  report “Biochar: A Critical Report of Science and Policy” as well as recent scientific and policy developments, substantially updated 1st July 2013

Joint letter to the Treasury opposing UK Guarantee Scheme’s support of biomass and incineration

guarantees power station bigOn Wednesday 18 December at 2pm Biofuelwatch, Friends of the Earth, UK Without Incineration Network (UKWIN) and Campaign Against Climate Change delivered a joint letter calling on the Treasury to drop biomass electricity and waste incineration projects from their short list of ‘pre-qualified’ projects for preferential loan guarantee support under the UK Guarantee Scheme.

The press release is here

The joint letter is here

Click here to see a video made by Reel News of speeches by Duncan Law (Biofuelwatch), Kenneth Richter (Friends of the Earth), Neil Pitcairn (UK Without Incineration Network) and Helena Paul (Econexus)

Developing campaign against one of the short-listed biomass projects in Avonmouth here

At 2pm on Wednesday 18 December representatives and supporters of Biofuelwatch, FOE, UK Without Incineration Network and the Campaign Against Climate Change gathered outside the Treasury building in Whitehall to protest at the huge subsidies the UK government is offering to hugely damaging and dangerous so-called renewable energy technology. They delivered a joint letter addressed to Mr Geoffrey Spence, head of Infrastructure UK which is administering the UK Guarantee Scheme and George Osborne MP, chancellor of the exchequer, calling on the Treasury to drop the 3 big biomass electricity projects and the waste incineration programme on the ‘prequalified’ short list of projects to receive loan guarantee from public funds.

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Proposed public loan guarantees for a biomass power station in Avonmouth

Proposed public loan guarantees for a biomass power station in Avonmouth - Biofuelwatch briefing

New support for biomass electricity will mean more forest destruction and land-grabbing, say campaigners

Clearcutting of coastal native hardwood forests in North Carolina – Drax is burning pellets from native forest logging in this region. Photo: Dogwood Alliance

[Update: On 19th December, DECC omitted Eggborough from the list of projects that would receive early guarantees of new subsidies, i.e. Contracts for Difference.  They state that they will  make a decision about Eggborough in 2014.  MGT Power and Drax remain on the list.]

Campaigners have reacted angrily to Government announcements on Wednesday setting out increased support for new biomass power capacity through “strike prices”. [1] High levels of long-term subsidies have been guaranteed for the partial conversion of Drax and Eggborough Power stations to biomass (allowing both to avoid having to shut down), for the biomass conversion of the currently closed Lynemouth Power station and for a large new biomass plant proposed by MGT Power at Teesside Port. Coal to biomass conversion strike price is £105 p MWh. Dedicated biomass will get £125 p MWh guaranteed.

MGT Power’s plans have already been implicated in land-grabbing in Brazil for eucalyptus plantations, [2] whilst Drax has been shown to have burnt pellets sourced from the clear-cutting of ancient wetland forests in the southern US. [3] Overall, further support was announced for more than 4GW of biomass capacity, which will see operators burning almost 30 million tonnes of green wood a year and receiving approximately £ 1 billion in subsidies for this annually. [4] Drax has already been guaranteed around £198 million in subsidies for biomass conversion under an existing subsidy scheme.  30 million tonnes of wood is equivalent to three times the UK’s  total annual wood production. Continue reading New support for biomass electricity will mean more forest destruction and land-grabbing, say campaigners

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