Email Green Investment Bank Chair & Cllr Battye to stop funding big biomass

Here’s the link to the BIofuelwatch webpage which has an email to send to the Chair of the UK Green Investment Bank. Please send an email – you can re word it to suit yourself, or simply send the version that Biofuelwatch has written.

You might also want to email Councillor Janet Battye, who represents Calderdale Council on the Leeds City Region (LCR) Green Economy Panel. The LCR Green Economy Panel support the Green Investment Bank’s £100m investment in big biomass at Drax. Here’s the Email I have sent Cllr Battye – please feel free to use this as a template for your own email if that helps.

Big biomass is environmentally damaging

These are the reasons Biofuelwatch gives for not investing in big biomass:

” In December 2012 the UK’s new Green Investment Bank agreed to give Drax (the UK’s largest coal-fired power station) £100 million towards the financing of their planned conversion to burning biomass. If all goes to plan, half of Drax’s generating capacity will come from burning biomass – mostly imported wood – by 2016.

Burning biomass in power stations is neither green nor renewable energy – in fact, it is devastating socially and environmentally, in many of the same ways that coal is. Drax isn’t converting to biomass to lower their impact or their carbon emissions. They’re converting to get around EU air quality regulations relating to emissions from coal, and to cash in on massive government subsidies for converting to biomass, which will see energy bills increase even more.

We estimate that the Green Bank could channel another £500 million towards big biomass and biofuel projects in the next few years. This would be a massive contribution towards the financing of an industry that is quickly expanding, leaving destroyed ecosystems and communities in its wake. The Green Bank should not be funding big biomass – we’re calling on Green Bank Chair Lord Smith to make a commitment not to give any more financing to the bioenergy industry.

Take action by telling Lord Smith not to fund any more biomass or biofuel developments.

To find out more about the Green Bank and our efforts to stop more funding for biomass, see Banking on Big Biomass and for more information on coal-biomass conversions see our campaign page Coal-Biomass Conversions. We’re also mobilising for Drax’s AGM on the 24th April in London – to get involved see Taking DRAXtic Action!

Drax biomass conversion would burn twice as much wood as the UK produces each year

Biofuelwatch reports that as well as operating the UK’s largest coal power station, Drax have so far burned more imported wood than anybody else in the UK. If they convert half their coal power station to biomass, as planned, they would need to burn pellets made from around 18 million tonnes of wood every year.  That is almost twice as much as all the wood produced in the UK every year (10 million tonnes).  

Drax already burns wood from Canada, the US, Portugal and South Africa.  Highly biodiverse forests are already being clearcut in North America to make wood pellets, for UK power stations as well as other destinations.  Drax’s increased demand will make this situation far worse.  It is also likely to mean more expansion of monoculture tree plantations in countries such as South Africa, or in South America, and thus more land-grabbing, more depletion and pollution of soils and freshwater and less food sovereignty and food security.  
Studies show that the climate impacts of large-scale biomass electricity (especially that from burning wood from trees logged for this purpose) is disastrous

We need renewable energy solutions, that end large scale coal and biomass. 

Ecologist article on where Drax gets its wood from now and may in future

Here’s the link.

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