Did you know that the UK Government is wasting millions of pounds a year subsidising tree burning for electricity at power stations like Drax, the UK’s single largest carbon emitter and the world’s biggest tree burner, with devastating impacts on forests, wildlife, communities and the climate?
Drax alone was given £606.8 million in subsidies last year for biomass burning. Much of the wood that the company burns comes from the logging of some of the world’s most biodiverse forests in the Southern USA, Canada, Estonia and Latvia.
These forests are home to many rare and endangered species, and a recent BBC Panorama investigation has revealed that Drax is logging primary forests in Canada which have never been logged before. Drax has also been accused of driving ‘environmental racism’ in the Southern USA after paying $3.2 million to settle air pollution violation claims against its wood pellet mills in Louisiana.
Yet the biomass industry receives huge renewable subsidies from the UK Government to burn trees. Drax alone receives over £2 million every single day from the Government to burn wood, subsidies which are paid for through an extra charge on UK energy bills.
Despite making record profits in the middle of the cost of living crisis, Drax is now asking the Government for even more subsidies to fund unproven bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology that will allow the company to continue burning trees for years to come. This is expected to cost the UK public an estimated £31.7 billion. A recent Government consultation proposed granting these BECCS subsidies to Drax even if the power station captures little or none of the carbon that it emits from burning trees.
Please help to protect forests, wildlife, communities and the climate by calling on your MP to stop existing subsidies for tree burning power stations in the UK, and to transfer these subsidies to genuinely low carbon energy sources and real climate action like insulating homes. We also need MPs to stop Drax from getting more subsidies under the guise of unproven carbon capture and storage technology that will allow them to continue burning trees and polluting communities.
Take action now
1.Contact your MP here if you have not done so already. If you have contacted your MP and have not heard back you can call their office and prompt them towards your email, asking for a reply. Please let us know if you hear back from your MP and share their response – we can help with responding. Contact us at email@example.com
2. The best way to influence your MP is to meet with them. To help with this we have pulled together a briefing which you can find here which has lots of resources you can share with your MP.