On 12th December 2019 the UK will go to the polls again. This is a vital opportunity for climate action and an end to biomass burning in power plants.
Thanks to the incredible work of environmental campaigners, the climate crisis is near the top of the political agenda for the first time, with Parliament declaring a Climate Emergency in May.
There have also been amazing wins to protect endangered forests in the Southern USA from the biomass industry as North Carolina’s new clean energy plan roundly condemned the use of its forests for fuel overseas.
But the biomass industry is working hard to paint itself as an essential solution to climate breakdown, and it will be working even harder to influence MP candidates. We now have two fights on our hands – placing the climate crisis at the forefront of this election, and ensuring biomass is seen for what it is – a cause of climate change, not a solution.
This is why we need to use this election to persuade politicians to end their support for the fossil fuel and biomass companies which are causing the climate crisis. And we need our MPs, and potential candidates, to know that if they don’t take this seriously, they will lose votes.
Biomass is polluting communities, damaging biodiversity, and accelerating climate change. But with your help, companies like Drax will no longer be able to get away with greenwashing their biomass burning as ‘sustainable’. For forests, communities, and the climate, we need this. It’s time to make big biomass a big issue this election.
How to take action
1. Email your candidates to sign the pledge
We need as many candidates as possible to sign our pledge committing to scrap biomass power subsidies. One of the best ways you can do this is by sending them an email.
We have prepared an email for you to copy and paste and sent to candidates:
|Subject: For forests, communities and the climate – commit to ending UK subsidies for biomass|
Dear [Add MP Name]
This election marks our last chance to take meaningful action on the climate emergency.
Recent polling shows that the environment will, for the first time in years, be a high priority for a significant amount of voters, and it is imperative that parties and candidates can prove to voters that they are taking climate breakdown seriously.
In this light, it is important for me that you do not turn a blind eye to the industrial burning of forest biomass, which is damaging forests, impacting communities, and accelerating the climate crisis. Last year, the UK handed out over £1.3 billion in subsidies to biomass burning, subsidies which are also allowing power stations such as Drax to continue burning fossil fuels. You can read more about the impacts of biomass subsidies at https://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/ROCscandidatebriefing.pdf.
As your constituent, I am writing to ask that you support the call to scrap biomass subsidies of over a £1 billion a year, and transfer these subsidies to genuinely renewable energy. Please sign this pledge now to show your commitment https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc78ejEO-XxXJQ8shp8xHg6SipL_iJIM4ztpF2kcAHMrg-O8Q/viewform
The biomass industry is working hard to paint itself as an essential solution to climate breakdown, but it is not a solution at all – it is a cause. Thank you for any support you can give to this issue, which is crucial to tackling the climate emergency.
2. Bring your questions and the pledge to a local hustings
While Brexit and other important issues are quite rightly going to be debated during the election, we also need urgent political action to tackle deforestation and the climate crisis. Asking a question at a hustings is a great way to raise awareness among political candidates of the impacts of biomass burning on forests, wildlife, communities and the climate.
We’ve prepared a hustings guide here to find out where your local hustings is, how you can organise one, what questions you can ask, and how you can ask them. Why not print out this downloadable version of the Pledge, take it along to any hustings or event and ask your candidate to take a picture with it. You can then send the picture to them and share on social media – remember to @Biofuelwatch! You can also direct candidates to our biomass subsidies briefing for more information.
3. Spread the word offline and online
We have leaflets which you can share with family, friends, and at local events and hustings. You can download them here.