At the beginning of December, the UK introduced a target to cut carbon emissions by 68% (based on 1990 levels) in the next decade.
The government wants to brand its climate target as “ambitious,” but this is not the holiday present the climate was asking for.
In reality, the UK’s climate targets are unlikely to keep us below 2 (never mind 1.5) degrees Celsius warming because they are burning biomass and claiming it as carbon neutral. Not only is this having catastrophic consequences for forests and communities of the Southern US right now, but without addressing the burning issue of biomass, the UK’s climate impacts will hit low income, working class, and BIPOC communities the hardest.
The UK has been relying on biomass for electricity since 2011. The UK’s climate pledges rest on dodgy accounting, and the UK is throwing billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money to prop up the burning of wood for electricity every year.
No single country on the planet has invested as much in burning biomass for electricity as the UK.
Erroneously, the UK is counting this dirty power source as carbon neutral. Spoiler alert: It’s not.
The NGO and scientific communities both heavily criticize classifying biomass as carbon neutral. The European Academies Scientific Advisory Council and nearly 800 scientists wrote to the EU Commission in 2018 calling for forest biomass to be removed from the category of “renewable.” Furthermore, earlier this year, a coalition of environmental advocacy groups launched the Cut Carbon Not Forests campaign to “expose the UK’s wasteful subsidies” for companies that burn trees for electricity and to put public pressure on policymakers to support reform. Cut Carbon Not Forest aims to redirect subsidies to support solar and wind solutions, encouraging supporters to email their local member of parliament (MP).
Biomass electricity is getting in the way of addressing the climate emergency.
Despite its record of pollution and forest destruction, Drax (the UK’s largest power station) alone receives £2 million in taxpayers’ money. This money should be spent on real climate solutions, not more dirty energy. Over 2,000 Britons have contacted their local MP calling for the UK government to redirect the subsidies to true clean energy.
We need your help.
The UK’s clean energy transition relies on the dirty little secret of biomass energy. Dogwood Alliance is working with the Cut Carbon Not Forests campaign because it’s our forests in the Southern US that the UK threatens with their enormous demand. While you may not have an MP you can write to, you can still raise your voice.
Take action: Share your testimonial about why you want to protect Southern forests and communities, fight climate change, and demand real climate action from the UK.
From discussions with activists in the UK, Members of British Parliament, to the media, we want to elevate your voice. Take action so we can spread your message!