We found a Facebook page that supports the ‘Stop Burning Our Trees’ campaign and it has some good photographs of all the activity that’s been going on this week in London.
It looks like the giant Jenga went down well in Victoria Station. It certainly looks more fun than taking the wood straight to a power station to burn – hope nobody was late for their train because of it!
More details are slowly emerging about the mysterious tree labels that have been tied to trees in central London.
It seems its a campaign backed by The Wood Panel Industries Federation to put pressure on the government to change the subsidy regime for electricity generators and stop the UK’s wood resources being burned for biomass energy.
Other strange labels have also been attached to street furniture like benches and tables, which thank passersby for not burning the tree and making something with the wood instead. Also there was a giant game of Jenga in Victoria Station and there is supposed to be a pledge tree in Spitalfields from Friday to Sunday (November 11-13).
If you see any of this activity going on we would love to know what you think… The message ‘Stop Burning Our Trees’ certainly makes sense to us!
Check out The Guardian on-line on Sunday September 11, 2011, which has finally run a story about the concerns of wood companies and green campaigners about subsidies to power companies that threaten both jobs and rainforests.
The article says that big wood companies are trying to halt Drax, RWE and others pressing ahead with a raft of lower-carbon energy schemes which would see large power stations switch from burning coal to timber.
The wood industry fears thousands of jobs in its factories will be threatened by the “green” power plans and wants government to remove the subsidies facilitating them.
Wildlife and environmental groups are also alarmed that the new biomass schemes could trigger a huge escalation in wood imports and threaten rainforests.
Get the full story at Energy & Environmental Management
According to a new report from the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), increasing demand for woodfuel worldwide, including in the UK, is helping to increase the number of foreign-owned plantations in developing countries, at the cost of food security.
At the same time, the amount of waste wood being exported from the UK to the continent for fuel is expanding “very rapidly” and could account for up to 500,000 tonnes of material by the end of the year, says Toby Beadle, technical advisor for the Wood Recyclers’ Association.
Rising UK demand alone, fuelled by the Renewable Heat Incentive and other initiatives, could lead to an almost doubling of world trade in wood chips and pellets, according to John Clegg Consulting. Wood already accounts for 67% of global renewable energy supplies.
Waste wood can only meet part of the expected rise in UK demand, which is partly due to the UK’s National Renewable Energy Action Plan, which stipulates that under the European Renewable Energy Directive the UK must reach a target for 15% of energy consumption in 2020 to be from renewable sources.
Europe is not alone in creating a higher global demand for woodfuel: in South Korea, the recently approved Renewable Portfolio Standard requires utilities to source 10% of their electricity supplies from new and renewable sources, including biomass, by 2022, and in the United States a quarter of all national energy is to be supplied from renewable sources, including biomass, by 2025.
A new book – ‘Let them eat carbon’ from TaxPayers’ Alliance Director Matthew Sinclair – looks at the record and cost of climate change policies, and the special interests that profit.
It is said to provide new insights into the cost of major regulations driving up energy prices, particularly the Renewables Obligation and the EU Emissions Trading System.
In 2009-10 the Renewables Obligation cost over £1.1 billion, equivalent to an additional £40 a family (up from under £900 million in 2007-08). The figure includes the subsidies paid to the biomass industry to burn wood, which are funded by rises in energy prices and are said to directly threaten 2.4 million jobs across the UK’s and European wood associated industries.
Matthew Sinclair says: “Regulations that are supposed to cut greenhouse gas emissions are adding to energy bills, and making it much harder for a lot of people to make ends meet. At the same time manufacturers are finding it harder to compete and jobs are being lost as industrial capacity relocates to other countries not placing the same burden on industry. The only ones who benefit are a handful of big businesses that can make billions in profits at the expense of ordinary consumers. With the dismal failure of these policies, and the cost mounting, it is vital that we scrap them.”
You can read more about the book and Matthew’s views in the TPA’s press release.
Contrary to Government claims, EU green energy policies are predicted to destroy tens of thousands of British jobs, claims think-tank Civitas.
Green economic policies mean more pain than gain for Britain, according to a new report by the Institute for the Study of Civil Society. The Green Mirage, by John Constable, finds claims that the low-carbon economy can deliver so-called ‘green collar’ jobs are staggeringly far-fetched and unsupported by official measures.
John Constable says: “Continuing to subsidise renewables will impose high costs on the rest of the economy. This will result in net job losses and loss of international competitiveness. A subsidised artificial market for low-carbon industries will provide premature reward for unready technologies, and actively discourage further invention.”
You can find the full press release at Civitas’ news pages…