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).
We need to protect forests to combat our climate crisis – not cut them down and burn them for energy.
Billions in subsidies for this dirty energy increases electricity costs and diverts money from real clean energy.
Forests are some of the most incredible places on Earth. Burning trees does not generate clean energy.
UK demand for wood-fuelled electricity degrades the habitats of many animals.
Burning trees is fake clean energy. It makes climate change worse and destroys habitats and wildlife.
Forests are home to precious animal species that need our protection, such as the highly endangered red wolf.
However, the UK wastes more than £1 billion a year subsidising burning trees for electricity, with much of the wood cut down and shipped from precious forests overseas.
The UK’s massive demand for wood-fuelled electricity is accelerating climate change, destroying forest habitats and endangering wildlife. The forests where much of the UK’s wood for biomass electricity is sourced are “some of the most biologically important habitats in North America,” according to the World Wildlife Fund, and are home to at-risk species like the Louisiana black bear.
Announcing the World’s 36th Biodiversity Hotspot: The North American Coastal PlainCLICK HERE TO VIEW
Money to Burn II: Solar and Wind Can Reliably Supply the United Kingdom’s New Electricity Needs More Cost-Effectively Than BiomassCLICK HERE TO VIEW
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.