Urgent Action: Stop New Subsidies for Burning Trees In UK Power Stations

The UK Government is proposing to give huge new subsidies from our energy bills to fund forest destruction and climate-wrecking tree burning at power stations like Drax in Yorkshire and Lynemouth in Northumberland.

For the sake of the planet, we have to stop these new subsidies. Together we can.

Drax, which is the world’s biggest tree burner and the UK’s single largest CO2 emitter, already receives around £1.7 million per day in renewable subsidies from UK energy bills to burn trees, with devastating impacts on forests, wildlife, communities and the climate.

The Government has now announced plans to use our energy bills to fund even more tree burning at Drax and Lynemouth when their current subsidies run out in 2027.

Please help us stop tree-burning power plants getting billions more by responding to the government’s consultation! The deadline is 29th February. If you have the time, please send a personalised response, but otherwise, please just add your details below. And please share this widely. Thank you.

If you need a quick reminder of all issues read on, otherwise please go ahead to the consultation response!

Drax has so far been paid a total of £6.5 billion in subsidies, paid for by bill-payers, while Lynemouth Power has received £600,000. These huge subsidies have allowed them to burn millions of tonnes of wood pellets. Much of the wood comes from the clear-felling of some of the world's most biodiverse forests in the Southern USA, Canada, Estonia and Latvia, Drax has also been accused of driving 'environmental racism' in the Southern US after settling air pollution violation claims at its pellet mills. Burning trees is also making the climate crisis worse, as generating a unit of electricity from burning trees is no better than generating it from coal.

Yet regardless of the proven harm caused by Drax and Lynemouth Power, the government has now launched a consultation, indicating that it wants to hand both companies years’ worth of new subsidies, once existing ones run out in 2027!

The reason the government gives for this destructive U-turn is that ‘transitional’ subsidies are needed to allow operators time to install carbon capture and storage technology, even though this technology has never been used at scale with woody biomass before, and has had a history of failure with coal fired power stations. Even if carbon capture worked (which it never has, at anywhere near the needed efficiency to be relevant for addressing climate change) it wouldn’t do anything for the forests being destroyed to meet this massive biomass demand, nor for the communities suffering from pollution and noise. But Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) seems a feeble excuse for what would simply be big new subsidies for burning wood as before: to get those subsidies, operators need to produce a couple of reports but do nothing otherwise to develop BECCS - no trials, not even a planning application (Lynemouth Power hasn’t even started on one).