July 2019: Reclaim the Power, North Caroline, Drax Protest, The Time is Now, FoE webinar, California Tropical Forests, BFW Summer Events

Dear Biofuelwatch supporter

Welcome to our latest newsletter full of updates about campaigns that we – and you – have been supporting, and policy developments. Important reading for anyone who wants to see meaningful responses to climate change and who is concerned about protecting forests and the people and wildlife depending on them from pro-corporate false climate solutions.

In this update you will find:

1) Reclaim Power Camp in July to target Drax

2) Enviva request to be allowed to expand its production at its Sampson County North Caroline pellet plant

3) Drax protest at the Humber Renewables Awards

4) The Time Is Now Mass Lobby of Parliament

5) Friends of the Earth Scotland webinar on False Climate Solutions: Bioenergy, Carbon Capture and Storage

6) California Tropical Forest Standard threatens forests and the climate  

7) Biofuelwatch summer events

1) Reclaim Power Camp in July to target Drax

Some of us will be at the Power Beyond Borders camp organised by Reclaim the Power, from July 26 – 30 in the south-east of England. The camp will consist of a weekend of inspiring talks and workshops followed by two days of action for climate and migrant justice. We’ll be taking part in a panel discussion on the Friday night about Drax Power Station and the history of action taken against its dirty energy, along with campaigners from the Gastivists, Reclaim the Power and the struggle against Drax’s pellet supplier Enviva in Southern US. The camp will be a fantastic opportunity to bring together campaigns against dirty energy with the broader struggle for environmental, social and economic justice, as well as a great chance to meet people, learn from each other and take action to build the world we want to live in.

For more information on the camp click here, or see the facebook event here

 

2) Enviva request to be allowed to expand its production at its Sampson County North Caroline pellet plant

Enviva has recently made a request to be allowed to expand its production at its Sampson County North Caroline pellet plant. Expanding its production means being allowed to emit more particulate matter and volatile organic compounds at that pellet plant. These pellets travel by truck the approx 70 miles from the Sampson County pellet plant to the Port of Wilmington, where they are temporarily stored in giant domes before being loaded onto ships headed for power stations such as Drax in Selby, North Yorkshire. 

A copy of the official permit request can be found here. The official notice of the permit request and the public hearing will be on July 15th in Sampson County and written comments will be accepted until July 19. On behalf of the Southern Forests Conservation Coalition, we are encouraging people to submit written comments by the deadline to DAQ.publiccomments@ncdenr.gov. We are also encouraging individuals to CC the email to Governor, Roy Cooper. His address is  roy.cooper@nc.gov   

More information can be found on this Facebook page, Dogwood Alliance website here and the Southern Environmental Law Centre Website here.  

3) Drax protest at the Humber Renewables Awards

A huge thank you to everyone who attended and supported the peaceful protest outside the Humber Renewable Awards near Hull on the 13th of June to oppose Drax Power Station’s nomination for two green energy awards.

Sadly, Drax was presented with the award for Green Innovation despite its roles as a major coal power station, the UK’s single largest carbon emitter and the world’s biggest biomass burner! 

It was great to be outside the awards ceremony with the Hull and East Riding Green Party, the Doncaster Green PartyHull Extinction Rebellion and Friends of the Earth Hull to tell the Humber Renewables Awards that there is nothing green or renewable about Drax’s plans to build the UK’s largest ever gas power station or its continued burning of coal and millions of tonnes of wood every year.  

The petition to oppose Drax’s gas-burning plans is still open for signatures and is available here

4) The Time Is Now Mass Lobby of Parliament, 26th June

We were very excited to join thousands of people at last week’s amazing The Time is Now mass lobby of Parliament for Climate, Nature and People. 

Don’t worry if you weren’t able to be at the lobby in London. There are still lots of ways in which you can support the campaign to redirect huge renewable subsidies from biomass power stations to genuine renewables. 

It would be wonderful if you would like to contact or even meet your MP to ask them to protect forests, wildlife, communities and the climate by transferring around £1 billion in renewable subsidies from devastating biomass burning to wind, wave and solar power: https://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/2018/subsidies-alert/

Here are some helpful tips for arranging a meeting with your MP: 

This Campaign Guide has more information to help you prepare for a meeting with your MP. 

5) Friends of the Earth Scotland webinar on False Climate Solutions: Bioenergy, Carbon Capture and Storage

We were delighted to take part in last week’s Friends of the Earth Scotland’s fascinating webinar on false climate solutions. 

The webinar is now available to watch on YouTube and explains why bioenergy with carbon capture and storage is a risky, dangerous and unjust technology which threatens to distract governments from genuine solutions to the climate crisis. 

Friends of the Earth Scotland webinar June 2019

 

6) California Tropical Forest Standard threatens forests and the climate  

The International Civil Aviation Organization continues to promote a scheme (Carbon Offset Reduction Scheme for International Aviation) to greenwash emissions from the fast expanding aviation industry using forest offsets and biofuels.  Meanwhile the state of California has been considering adoption of a controversial “California Tropical Forest Standard” that would be compatible with the aviation scheme plans for forest offsets.  

Biofuelwatch, along with allies including Friends of the Earth, Centre for Biological Diversity, Greenpeace and the Indigenous Environmental Network delivered a letter to California governor Newsom, and Air Resources Board chair, Mary Nichols denouncing the plan, stating: “Without understanding the full implications, the state is on the verge of putting a stamp of approval on an aviation industry designed scheme to disguise the anticipated future emissions growth in the sector with dubious offsets and biofuels that pose a serious new risk to forests and thereby the climate. We ask you to reject the endorsement of the California Tropical Forest Standard (CTFS) that is currently under discussion at the Air Resources Board (ARB). This is an important opportunity to exercise global leadership on one of the increasingly dire threats to future climate stability: the global aviation sector.”   

Emissions from aviation are increasingly recognised as a significant contributing factor in climate change, not only because of the combustion of fossil fuels but also because of chemical interactions occurring in the high altitudes and the impacts of contrails on atmospheric heat trapping.  We cannot expect forests to counter the pollution from airplanes, and the only currently viable pathway for aviation biofuels would most likely involve palm oil – a major driver of deforestation. The only real way to reduce the impact of aviation emissions on our climate is to fly less!

7) Biofuelwatch summer events

Are you organising an event this summer that would benefit from more information about Biofuelwatch’s campaigns? Would you like us to come for a film screening or workshop about biomass, or send you some leaflets or campaign materials? Please click here to contact us via email or social media.  

We are looking forward to being at the Earth First gathering and more events over the next few months so please visit our website or social media pages for more information.