If we want a liveable future, we have to stop the forest destruction and tree burning that is driving the climate crisis. But right now, the world’s biggest tree burner and the UK’s single largest CO2 emitter, Drax, is applying for planning permission to add unproven carbon capture infrastructure to two of its wood-burning units at Drax Power Station.
There is little evidence that Drax has the technical ability to successfully capture large amounts of CO2, suggesting that Drax wants to obtain this planning permission in order to attract new subsidies and investments to replace their current renewable subsidies of £2.68 million per day when they expire in 2027. Ember estimates that Drax’s BECCS application will cost £31.7 billion.
If the planning application is approved, Drax will continue burning trees from some of the world’s most biodiverse forests for decades to come, harming the climate and polluting communities in the process.
The project will have serious impacts on wildlife and communities near Drax with increased traffic, constant noise and the degradation and destruction of important habitats of rare and protected species. The chemicals (amines) Drax will use in BECCS can release by-products into the atmosphere such as nitrosamines and nitramines which are probable carcinogens which can cause cancer.
Drax claims they can become “carbon negative” by using CCS to absorb more emissions than it produces. However, this is based on the false assumption that burning wood is “carbon neutral”. In reality, it will take decades or longer for new trees to absorb the emissions produced by burning trees.
Drax’s planning application is reliant upon a pipeline to transport and store the carbon dioxide under the North Sea. This pipeline is not included in their current application, yet is reliant upon it. The National Grid is expected to apply for planning consent for a huge new CO2 pipeline in the North Sea near Hull, which would be connected not just with Drax but with sites operated by some of the world’s biggest fossil fuel polluters, including Equinor, Ineos and Uniper.
Nearly 300 people objected in the first stage of the planning application process, now we need to keep the pressure on and demand that the planning inspectorate stops Drax's Carbon Capture Con!
More updates coming soon...
The Stop Burning Trees Coalition is a collection of groups and people taking action against the destructive biomass industry. The biomass industry is responsible for destroying our forests and harming our communities around the world. Drax, the UKs single biggest carbon emitter, receives billions of renewable subsidies to burn millions of tonnes of trees a year. Sign up to take action to stop the biomass industry and receive updates from the coalition!