Climate change is bringing drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty to hundreds of millions of people, and air pollution in the UK is causing tens of thousands of premature deaths each year. Our government should be reducing energy demand and shifting to clean energy, but instead, it’s considering allowing the UK’s biggest coal plant to turn into the country’s biggest gas plant - and pumping our atmosphere full of dirty emissions for decades to come.
The Drax biomass and coal plant in Yorkshire where I live is currently the country’s largest co2 producer. The government is stopping coal production by 2025, but rather than shut down altogether, Drax is trying to simply switch to burning a different fossil fuel - gas. Drax itself admits that these plans will increase greenhouse gas emissions. Locking the country into burning more fossil fuels for decades is not the way to meet urgent climate targets.
As if that wasn’t bad enough - Drax is asking the government for millions of pounds of public money to do it. These subsidies are in addition to the £2 million per day it already receives from the government for burning millions of tonnes of wood, over half of which comes from carbon-rich, biodiverse forests in the southern US which are being destroyed and turned into wood pellets. These vast subsidies keep Drax burning and polluting. They should end and it should close.
81 British and international environmental organisations have already written an open letter to the government calling for planning permission to be denied and urging that no public money is pumped into this development. It’s incredibly important that this is backed up by people like you and me.