International Day of Forests – 21st March 2024

What’s happening?

The United Nations International Day of Forests (21st March) is a day to celebrate, and most importantly, protect our vital forests around the world. Yet the Government is subsidising the destruction of these forests by using our energy bills to fund tree burning in UK power stations.

Drax Power Station is the UK’s single biggest carbon emitter and the world’s biggest burner of trees, sourcing from vital, biodiverse forests around the world. Drax has repeatedly been exposed for logging and sourcing from rare, primary old-growth forests in British Columbia; studies have regularly demonstrated that Drax’s sourcing is contributing to the loss of biodiverse forests in the Southern US that are home to many rare and endangered species, and we see the same story happening around the world. 

Forests are the lungs of our planet, and it is an outrage that our Government is subsidising their destruction. The Government has now announced proposals to use our energy bills to give huge new subsidies from UK energy bills to continue funding this destruction for many years to come! 

The climate impacts of new subsidies for burning trees would be catastrophic. In 2022 alone, Drax emitted over 12 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. Drax is already receiving £1.7m per day from UK bill payers to burn trees whilst making record profits. According to the consultation, the cost of new subsidies to UK bill payers could be anything up to £2.5 billion a year. 

If these subsidies go ahead we could be locked in to decades more of tree burning, pollution and forest destruction. There are lots of ways you can take action from home below:

1.Email your MP

You can click here to email your MP here to urge them to say no to new subsidies for burning trees in power stations.

MPs have the power to stop these subsidies, so putting pressure on them is the most important thing we can do to stop the continuation of tree burning subsidies 

You’re very welcome to personalise your message. Given it’s the International Day of Forests, this could be a great opportunity to add some key messages about why forests are so important – and why our Government should not be subsidising their destruction! If you’ve already emailed your MP, the best next step is to give their office a call (see below for more info!) 

If you’ve already emailed your MP, the best next step is to give their office a call (see below for more info!) 

2.MP Pledge

Another great way to take action is to ask your MP to sign the Stop Burning Trees pledge to support an end to subsidies for burning wood in power stations! With Drax aggressively lobbying for £billions in new subsidies, it’s more vital than ever our politicians take a stand against this destructive industry! Click here to send an email to your MP, asking them to sign the pledge today!

3.Phone yor MPs office

Phone calls are one of the most effective ways of getting through to MPs’ offices. MPs receive thousands of emails each day, so by spending a few minutes to contact them on the phone, you increase your chances of getting a response.

You can find your MP’s phone number on the parliamentary directory of MPs or on their website/social media. 

It’s a good idea to send a follow up email with what you discussed. 

If you’ve received a response to your email from your MP and would like help responding to it please email 

If you’ve previously emailed your MP about this it’s really helpful to mention that when you call them, as it makes them much more likely to properly read the email! 

Draft script: 

Action taker: Hello I’m … and I’m one of [MP name] constituents. I’m phoning because I’m very concerned that the Government is giving millions of pounds a year from UK energy bills to wood-burning power stations and it is now proposing to give huge new subsidies to these power stations, including Drax which is the UK’s single largest carbon emitter and the world’s biggest tree burner. (If you’ve already emailed them, this is a great time to mention that)

I don’t want my energy bills to be used to fund Drax’s forest destruction and I’d be grateful if [MP] could sign the Stop Burning Trees pledge or write to the Secretary of State for DESNZ (Claire Coutinho) or share some social media to say that we should not waste public money on companies that burn trees. 

MP’s staff member: (likely to offer to flag your concerns with your MP and may ask you to send an email with your key points – there is an example email below which you are welcome to adapt and personalise) 

Action taker: I’m aware that the Government consultation on new subsidies has now closed and eligible generators have been invited to apply by the end of March. This is highly concerning to me and I would be grateful if [MP name] could take urgent action to say no to new subsidies for burning trees and pledge to support an end to subsidies for burning wood. Would it be possible to receive a response in the next week? I’ll be happy to send a follow-up email and MP briefing about the proposed new subsidies.

MP’s staff member: (likely to offer to send a response to your follow-up email.) 

Action taker: Thank you very much for speaking to me today and for taking my message. I look forward to hearing back from you soon. 

Template follow up email to send to your MP

Next Steps

Thank you so much for taking action today! If you have any questions please feel free to get in contact with or We’re very happy to help with responses to MPs, or how you can get more involved with the campaign to stop new tree burning subsidies! Keep an eye on our social media for upcoming actions and events.