The 10-year anniversary of the first 'Climate Camp' that took place at the Drax power station in Yorkshire on 22 October 2006 has been marked with a protest at the site to highlight ongoing concerns about the plant.
On Saturday 22 October 2016, some 60 protesters once again took their spots at the power plant, which has recently converted some of its coal burning operations to biomass, bringing with it new threats to the environment.
Biofuelwatch, which co-organised the event, said the 10-year anniversary was a good opportunity to protest the biomass conversion, pointing out that it is a threat to forests around the world. The burning of trees as biomass is no cleaner or more renewable than burning coal, yet Drax is receiving millions of pounds in subsidies to help it to continue its activities despite poor financial performance.
The protesters said their stand-in last Saturday was intended to call for the end of these subsidies. Frances Howe from Biofuelwatch explained: "Burning trees should not be classed as renewable energy – trees take decades to grow and minutes to burn. Most of Drax’s pellets are imported from North America and many come from clear-cutting the remnants of virgin wetland forests in the southern USA, which are home to thousands of species.
"Last year Drax alone burnt pellets made from 12 million tonnes of wood – more than the UK produces annually. There’s absolutely no way burning wood on this scale can ever be sustainable," she continued.
To find out more about this issue visit the Use Wood Wisely website and discover how potentially damaging this activity could be for the environment, British industry and for UK tax payers.