There’s a Facebook page…!

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!

Mysterious tree labels and who’s behind them…

Make something with wood

More mysterious labels?

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!

Strange labels on trees appearing in London…

Please don't burn me

Mysterious labels appearing on trees and benches...

It seems that London trees are fighting back against being burned for power generation by the biomass industry.

Mysterious labels have been appearing on trees in Westminster that read ‘Please don’t burn me!’. Also, a number of bus and tube adverts have been spotted that support the strange messages.

If you want to know more then it seems people are being sent to a website called Stop Burning Our Trees.

Sunday’s Guardian: Biomass schemes will boost destructive timber imports, claims wood industry

The Guardian online

The Guardian (Sunday September 11, 2011)

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.

Check out the full story by Terry Macalister.

Chaotic UK biomass demand in danger of fuelling landgrab in developing countries

Energy & Environmental Management

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.

You can check out the full story at Energy & Environmental Management but interesting information includes:

  • 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.

New book claims to expose the crippling cost of climate change policy

Let Them Eat Carbon

Let Them Eat Carbon

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.

Recycling companies keen to cash in on biomass energy boom slash gate fees

Biomass

burning recycled wood threatens UK jobs

A new report from the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), says that recycling companies are cutting their gate prices to attract waste wood from the construction sector to sell it on to the woody biomass industry.

Subsidies for generating electricity using biomass are distorting the domestic wood market.  Energy companies, supported by the Renewables Obligation (RO), are using their enhanced purchasing power to bid for the same recycled wood used by the wood panel industry.

The report also found there has been a significant increase in demand for waste wood to be used as fuel, with UK biomass facilities’ demand for recovered wood more than doubling between 2007 and 2010 to reach 0.55 million tonnes – nearly a quarter of total recovered wood demand!

WRAP has predicted gate fees will continue to fall in line with growth in the biomass market. A recent report from John Clegg Consulting suggests that demand for recovered wood from biomass plants could rise to more than four million tonnes by 2015, which is more than the UK’s entire supply of waste wood.

It is more evidence that if this situation does not change the future of the wood panel industry and wood-based manufacturing in Britain is threatened because they cannot compete in the same market as the energy companies, who are being subsidised to buy wood.

Read the full story at businessGreen