In a surprise move, Drax is holding its 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM) in York instead of London, on April 13. Biofuelwatch will be holding a demonstration in London targetting Drax's two largest investors. At the same time our allies in Yorkshire will be demonstrating outside the AGM itself.
#AxeDrax in London
Biofuelwatch's #AxeDrax protest in London will this year target Drax's two biggest investors: Invesco and Schroders. We will gather at 12 outside Schroders, on Gresham Street, EC2V 7QA, where we will have speakers from different organisations, banners and props, and we will then head over to Invesco, Drax's largest investor, on London Wall. There is a Facebook event here.
London Biomassive will be having one more meeting and one prop making session before the demo - contact us, or keep an eye on the Biomassive Facebook page, if you want to come.
#AxeDrax in York
The York demo will be outside Drax's AGM at the Royal York Hotel, starting from 10.30 so we can leaflet delegates as they enter the AGM, and finishing by 2pm. This is being organised by local activists against dirty energy in Yorkshire, with support from Coal Action Network. There will be a photo call at 1pm, so if you can't make the whole thing, the latter part only is great.
Please note, the hotel is in the process of changing its name to the Principle York. It is conveniently situated very close to York train station (Station Road, York YO24 1AA).
Despite describing itself as 'Europe's largest decarbonisation project', Drax remains the UK's largest coal burner, the largest burner of biomass in the world and the UK's single biggest emitter of greenhouse gases. Nearly all of Drax's wood pellets are imported, mainly from the southern US. Many of them are sourced from clearcut coastal wetland forests, others from monoculture tree plantations which have replaced biodiverse forests. A lot of Drax's coal comes from Russia and Colombia, where communities have been evicted and have seen their livelihoods destroyed by opencast coal mining.
Recently, Drax bought Opus Energy and four gas-fired power stations soon to be built, so the company now works across three forms of dirty energy.
Researchers estimate that around 590 people a year are dying early due to air pollution from Drax Power Station.
In return for trashing forests and digging up communities, Drax is receiving massive subsidies – paid out of a surcharge on our electricity bills – when it should have been closed down years ago. Drax received £584 million of public money in 2016 – that's over £1.5 million every day!
We believe that energy subsidies should be going towards clean, low-carbon renewable energy such as sustainable wind and solar power, and towards energy efficiency and conservation. Renewable energy subsidies should not be paid for dirty energy that destroys forests, communities and the climate.
We need a just transition to a genuinely low carbon energy system. Home insulation, wind and solar power can create large numbers of clean jobs.