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.
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.
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).
Biomass is a threat to our climate and contributes significantly to the biodiversity crisis. But the government keeps saying it’s a green energy source. Our expert, Rita Frost, breaks down some of the common myths about biomass electricity and why it is hypocritical to support it.
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.