Stop burning the world’s forests for energy - says RSPB - as new report shows bioenergy’s risks to climate and nature - RSPB

The RSPB, along with 3Keel, has today published new analysis that shows logging forests for energy, or carpeting the countryside in energy crops, puts nature, climate and food production at risk. Yet, without action from the Government, these sources could be heavily relied upon for the UK’s future bioenergy supply in the race to net zero.

The contribution of these high-risk materials to our energy supply, according to the report, should be limited and replaced with sustainable wastes, like gas from landfills or materials generated while managing woodlands for wildlife. This will reduce the impacts bioenergy can have on nature and our climate, with the analysis from the RSPB and 3Keel also predicting that these low-risk sources could deliver up to 4% of the UK’s primary energy by 2050.

However, today, the vast majority of biomass electricity here in the UK comes from burning wood pellets, mainly sourced and imported from forests in the south eastern USA. Drax power plant, the UK’s single biggest CO2 emitter, has received billions of pounds of public money in renewable energy subsidies and tax breaks to burn this wood, even though it releases more CO2 into the atmosphere than coal.

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Posted On: 11/05/2022

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