The UK gives billions to energy companies that burn trees for electricity, harming our climate and forests around the world.

Cut Carbon Not Forests is a campaign to stop handouts to this dirty and destructive industry. Ask your MP to help end biomass subsidies now.
Jon Albert/Nature in Stock
Jon Albert/Nature in Stock

What needs to change?

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.

We are in a global climate and biodiversity crisis. Biomass electricity drives both.

 

Wood harvest for biomass harms forests and the wildlife that depends on them. Power stations that burn wood also emit massive amounts of heat-trapping carbon dioxide, fueling more climate chaos.

 

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.

Key Facts

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Nearly 13 million tons of CO2

Drax alone emitted nearly 13 million tons of CO2 from burning wood in 2019.

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8.5 million metric tons of pellets from overseas forests

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.

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£3 million a day in subsidies

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).

What can you do?

Help stop the UK from harming our planet’s forests. Urge your MP to support an immediate end to billions in biomass subsidies.

Sign the Petition Email Your MP
Image © Chris Hannant
Image © Chris Hannant

Learn More

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.

 

Read the statement »

NGO Statement on Biomass
Biomass Threatens Vulnerable Communities

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.

Biomass Threatens Our Climate

Like fossil fuels, burning biomass in power stations emits huge amounts of heat-trapping carbon dioxide and exacerbates climate change.

Biomass Threatens Global Biodiversity

Logging for biomass energy is accelerating the already-dire threat to forests and wildlife, a biodiversity crisis that endangers humans, as well.

Biomass Subsidies Waste Billions in Billpayer Money

Subsidies to large biomass power plants were estimated cost UK energy billpayers more than £1 billion in 2020 — or almost £3 million a day.

Resources

Explore these links to discover more about the significant impacts of burning trees for electricity.

MP Briefing on Cut Carbon Not Forests Campaign

MP Briefing on Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage

Burnout 2020: The UK Is Now the Top Subsidiser of Bioenergy in Europe

Partner Briefing on Cut Carbon Not Forests Campaign

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About Us

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.

To contact the CCNF coalition: [email protected]

 

For media inquiries please contact: [email protected]

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