What are YOU doing for Earth Day, Wednesday 22 April?

Axe drax at climate marchGuest Blog by Duncan Law, Biofuel Watch 
Join Biofuel Watch in London, 11.00-13.00, the Grocer’s Hall, Princes St, EC2R 8AD, at #AXEDRAX, for a lively protest to expose and oppose burning biomass and coal..
Drax power station is the largest coal-fired power station and single biggest carbon emitter in the UK, and is now also the biggest biomass power station in the world. In return for trashing forests and digging up communities, Drax is receiving massive subsidies when it should have been closed down years ago.
For forests, communities and the climate, it’s time to #axedrax!
#AXEDRAX will unite Coal and Biomass campaigners with others who believe that UK energy policy is stupid and unjust.

Drax has recently become the biggest burner of wood (biomass) to generate electricity in the world.
It claims this is for environmental reasons. But without biomass Drax would have had to close because of failure to meet EU sulphur pollution regulations (according to Vince Cable). Government renewable energy subsidies will extend the coal burning life of this dinosaur till 2027. This is neither renewable nor low carbon!
From 2016 Drax Power Station stands to get £660m year to burn imported trees, driving deforestation, biodiversity loss, toxic local pollution and increased climate emissions. DECCs own Biomass Carbon Calculator shows that some of their feedstock is up to 3 times worse than coal when all the emissions associated with logging are taken into account. So this meets neither climate nor conservation, nor pollution, nor energy security goals.
It does however meet our EU Renewable Energy Targets of 15% of primary energy from renewables by 2020 which are completely, idiotically, decoupled from carbon saving or energy efficiency targets! It also helps ‘keep the lights on’ – that old-think phrase that presupposes that current demand must be met rather than reduced. But it is a colossal waste of money and energy.
When Drax was built campaigners calculated that the capital investment could insulate East Anglia, saving the amount of energy Drax would produce every year. Yet Drax was built to waste energy for 40 years. History is about to repeat itself.
According to International Energy Agency figures if we spent Drax’s £660m a year subsidy on energy saving instead we could remove the need for Drax in 5 years! People would be warmer, healthier and better off; the country would need less energy making it more energy secure and easier to supply with domestic renewables; fossil fuels and forests would remain unburnt, the latter helping mop up other emissions. You’d have thought this would be a clear vote winner but politician consistently fail to act on energy saving and demand reduction.
Biofuelwatch argues that Environmentally Harmful Subsidies should cease and renewable energy should be redefined to exclude those that do more harm than good such as bio-energy and waste for energy. The government has done some of the science but is dragging its feet on implementing it as policy. But it recently removed some of the so called ‘grandfathering’ which guarantees subsidies till a certain date even if it turns out to be doing more harm than good. And the science is more and more showing that to be the case.
Drax Power Station has led the way for the industry, lobbying, greenwashing, converting and building the necessary infrastructure and clearcutting hugely biodiverse native forests in the southern US and Canada. Drax exemplifies much that is wrong with UK energy policy and renewable energy subsidies.
So we are joining with coal and energy campaigners to tell DECC to #AXEDRAX now and use the money saved to rethink the way that we do energy, moving beyond burning.
Join us on Wednesday 22 April, 11.00-13.00 at the Drax AGM, Grocer’s Hall, Princes St, EC2R 8AD, and then at DECC to expose and oppose all the players in this dangerous false solution! Make that what you do on International Earth Day!
Spread the word: https://www.facebook.com/events/318444765019328/
Join the London Biomassive https://www.facebook.com/LondonBiomassive
For more information on Biomass see the FAQs and other info at http://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/biomass-resources/