Thursday 29 February 2024

British power plant burns old growth Canadian forest destroying wildlife habitat

The Drax power plant near Selby, North Yorkshire, UK has been receiving a couple of sets of government subsidies worth £6bn because it is claimed that the electricity produced by this powerplant comes from burning plant biomass - trees from ecologically unimportant areas in Canada. 

In this instance, biomass is renewable organic material from trees. It should also be carbon neutral with the carbon produced from burning wood being cancelled out by the carbon absorbed by trees growing.

But the problem with this process is that Drax is receiving subsidies in order to burn wood from old-growth forests which provide a unique habitat for ecosystems in Canada. It's probable, that these forests provide a habitat for the Canada lynx which is my connection to the cat in this article.

In the UK, in 2017, in a sustainability report, Drax promised not to take timber from no-go areas which means protected forests, primary forests, old-growth forests and forests classified as having a high biodiversity value.

Government support for Drax can only be justified because the wood that they use for their power stations has been sourced sustainably and I presume in compliance with good carbon neutral policies. And in compliance with wildlife conservation. That's not mentioned in The Times article: Power plant burns rare forest wood.

The wood comes from primary forests as mentioned and therefore Drax should not receive government subsidies which have amounted to £6 billion as I understand it in the past.

In a letter to The Times British Members of Parliament have said the following: 
"Continued wood burning biomass harms forests, communities and contributes huge amounts of carbon emissions to the atmosphere."
In response, Drax did not deny clearing old-growth forests for its power stations. However Drax said that its 2017 report was "not a policy and is now obsolete." It's been superseded by 2019 document they say. A spokesperson for Drax said: "We are confident our biomass is sustainable and legally harvest and meet the requirement of our 2019 sourcing policy."

Comment: the company is wriggling out of their responsibilities. Sorry by entirely typical of big business.

Secondly, it seems extraordinary to me that Drax and the UK government can even contemplate chopping down forests and burning them in power stations in the UK. How can that be a good policy? 

That would seem to go totally against the fundamental principles of being carbon neutral. In preserving nature. In preserving habitat for wildlife. In doing the right thing. In protecting the planet. How does this Drax policy in partnership with the UK possibly enhance sustainability, nature, and protect the planet?

The UK government should be as ashamed as Drax. Typical of double talking big business in league with unethical British politicians. I hate them all.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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