UK leaders say they’re committed to tackling climate change and protecting nature, but billions in subsidies for biomass electricity lead to massive carbon emissions and harm forests.
We deserve a coherent approach to these serious threats, not years more of hypocrisy and waste. Dirty biomass subsidies must end now.
Instead of billions more in dirty biomass subsidies, the Government must prioritise renewables like solar and wind, which guarantee real emissions cuts at a fraction of the cost of burning wood for electricity.
Drax alone emitted nearly 13 million tons of CO2 from burning wood in 2019.
In 2019, the UK imported 8.5 million metric tons of wood pellets—more than any other country in the world.
Most came from the United States where an area of woodland roughly the size of the New Forest was harvested to supply just a portion of this demand. The UK also imports wood pellets from Estonia, Latvia, Canada, Brazil, Portugal and other countries.
Subsidies to large biomass power plants cost UK energy billpayers more than £1 billion in 2020—or almost £3 million a day.
Until most subsidies are due to end in 2027, billpayers will spend £13 billion in direct support to biomass-burning plants (including £10bn just for Drax).
Cut Carbon Not Forests and 21 other environmental NGOs tell the UK Government that industrial-scale biomass burning in the power sector threatens climate action and should not be subsidised.
Marginalised communities around the world—and especially in the U.S. Southeast—are paying the price for the UK’s continued reliance on biomass energy.More »
Like fossil fuels, burning biomass in power stations emits huge amounts of heat-trapping carbon dioxide and exacerbates climate change.More »
Logging for biomass energy is accelerating the already-dire threat to forests and wildlife, a biodiversity crisis that endangers humans, as well.More »
Cut Carbon Not Forests is a campaign to redirect dirty biomass electricity subsidies to true clean energy, co-ordinated by a coalition of UK and US-based NGOs. The bulk of biomass electricity subsidies are paid out via the Renewables Obligation Certificates scheme and can be redirected immediately. Join us and email your MP today.