Campaigners: Drax must cease buying Belarussian wood pellets today and stop their help in funding the war against Ukraine

London, 4th March – While the CEO of Drax says “our thoughts are with the Ukrainian people” [1], his company’s announcement to stop pellet imports from Russia but not from Belarus [2] means that they’re continuing to trade with one of the two countries waging war on Ukraine. According to the UK government, “the Lukashenko regime actively aids and abets Russia’s illegal invasion.” [3]

Yesterday, an open letter by 120 groups, many of them from Ukraine and Belarus [4] called for a ban on all wood imports from Russia and Belarus, stating ”The financial resources the Russian and Belarussian governments gain from wood exports help to equip the Russian invaders, fuel their tanks and produce their bombs. Therefore, consuming Russian and Belorussian wood and timber products means supporting death and destruction in Ukraine.” 

According to Drax’s most recent, 2020, Annual Report [5], Drax sourced more wood pellets from Belarus than from Russia that year.

Almuth Ernsting, Co-Director of Biofuelwatch [6] says: “We have long been highlighting the harm that Drax’s burning of imported wood pellets has been causing to forest ecosystems, to the climate, and to communities living next to polluting pellet mills. Nonetheless, we are shocked that, 9 days into the war on Ukraine, Drax has still not issued a statement that they will stop pellet imports from both countries whose leaders are responsible for this war, but only from one of them.”