Drax Wood Pellets Have Devastating Impact On Baltic Forests, Report Shows

Read time: 4 mins

Drax's “insatiable” demand for wood is harming Baltic forests, campaigners have claimed following the publication of a damning report.

Compiled by NGOs in Estonia and Latvia, the report reveals that together the two countries exported more than three million tonnes of wood pellets last year – equivalent to at least 200 square kilometres of clearcut forest.

Creative Carbon Accounting: How Industry and Government Make Burning Wood Look Like a Climate Solution

Read time: 10 mins
A biomass train

The UK has recently committed to breaking even on the greenhouse gas emissions generated by its economy. This means that for every tonne of carbon dioxide released, a tonne will be captured or locked away elsewhere. It’s a nifty concept, known as ‘net zero’, but it relies on accurately, honestly, counting emissions. And already, countries are undertaking what teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg has called “creative carbon accounting” to balance their books.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the biomass industry. It burns waste or wood to generate energy, much like coal. Biomass also emits carbon-dioxide and other greenhouse gases —again, much like coal.

Unlike coal, however, biomass emissions are being kept off the carbon dioxide balance sheet for most nations, in a way that campaigners allege is dishonest.

Comment: Drax Can't Grow Trees Fast Enough — Biomass is Not a Climate Solution

Read time: 4 mins
biomass handful

By Jo Alexander, a chartered geologist and researcher for campaign group ShareAction

Drax has been stepping up its greenwashing over the past few days, by appearing on BBC Radio and in the Financial Times.  Unfortunately, this reporting has been completely one sided and has allowed Drax to make its usual misleading claims, without any challenge by experts or campaigners. The public and investors should not be taken in by the greenwashing of utility companies that sell biomass power generation as a climate solution.

Drax would have you believe that biomass is a climate solution when it’s actually part of the problem. Drax often makes the misleading claim that they save over 80 percent of carbon emissions compared to coal. This is far from the truth, because it is not counting the emissions from combustion, which are 3 percent higher than burning coal according to their own annual report

UK Efforts to Weaken EU Controls on Biomass Undermine Climate Change Efforts

Read time: 4 mins
Both Eggborough and Drax in the UK have converted their coal burners to biomass

By Arthur Neslen, Climate Home News

The British government pushed to weaken EU controls on biomass energy in December, even though the technology will undermine efforts to contain global warming for up to half a century, according to research released today.

Despite its imminent Brexit, the UK successfully rewrote a proposal to almost quadruple the potential size of wood burning plants before they had to meet efficiency criteria, according to documents obtained by Unearthed, and shared exclusively with Climate Home News.

Liz Truss Believes Biomass Subsidies Harm Food Security, So Why Did She Only Scrap Subsidies For Solar?

Read time: 3 mins

Environment secretary Liz Truss scrapped solar subsidies in favour of biomass despite years of working to cut subsidies to biomass, documents reveal.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) secretary has been a vocal opponent of solar subsidies since she entered office last July, citing concerns over losing land for grazing and crops, as well as driving food production overseas.

But documents obtained by DeSmog UK under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) show that Truss voiced the exact same concerns about biomass production long before her appointment as environment secretary.

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