Monday, October 24, 2011

[biofuelwatch] Newly Launched Renewable Energy Consultation met by Activist Fury





[Photos on Indymedia article]


Newly Launched Renewable Energy Consultation met by Activist Fury
Action Against Agrofuels | 23.10.2011 15:35 

Members of Action Against Agrofuels, dressed in Orangutan suits, climbed 10m up trees above The Mall 200m from Buckingham Palace with a vast banner reading "Biomassacre: Don't subsidise it" as the government consultation on renewable energy subsidies commences.
 
Biomassacre - Don't subsidise it

Activists are furious that the most unsustainable and environmentally 
damaging form of energy is being branded `green' and wins one of the 
highest levels of subsidies for power generation. This, activists state 
diverts venture capital away from true renewables such as wind and solar. 

This follows a gathering of about 80 protesters outside DECC (the 
Department of Energy and Climate Change) called by Biofuelwatch and the 
Campaign against Climate Change yesterday calling for a complete halt to 
subsidising bioenergy. 

Biomass power station applications are appearing all over the UK as 
venture capitalists seek to profit from burning biofuels and wood chips. 
Activists say that subsidies are not just destroying ecosystems but are 
driving land grabs at an unprecedented rate. Land previously available 
for food production is now being taken for energy crops with serious 
implications for global food poverty. This is because consent on just the 
current planning applications would require woodchip imports of nearly six 
times the total UK production, all of which is currently allocated. 

Andrew Butler commented that "We're seeing the start of unjustified 
payments to burn wood and vegetable oil to produce electricity on an 
industrial scale, depriving millions of people of the land they need to 
grow food. We're also seeing an onslaught on the world's last great 
forests exacerbating biodiversity loss and climate change. To cap it all, 
we're being forced to pay for this with mandatory surcharges on our energy 
bills." 

Ironically even the government's own think tank the RFA, and more recently 
the European Environment Agency2 as well as the UN Environment Programme3 
have all cautioned that liquid biofuels and biomass (wood chip and wood 
pellets) could speed up deforestation, land grabs and climate change. 

Burning biomass also has severe local impacts. Increased air pollution 
from particulate toxins and arsenic released when liquid biofuels and in 
particular wood chips are burnt are set to trigger health problems on an 
unprecedented scale. 

Ali Connolly stated "At home too the impacts are devastating. Ex-minister 
Jim Fitzpatrick acknowledged research stating that the health cost to the 
British public from toxic emissions at 1.5 million life years annually. 
The coalition government is condemning all those living within the 
vicinity of these power stations to an early grave." 

The consultation document confirms subsidy proposals of 1.5 ROCs 
(Renewable Obligation Certificates) for bioenergy beyond 2013. This is an 
unprecedented bonanza amounting to £3billion of free money just for the 
bioenergy power stations already proposed. A flood of new applications 
will undoubtedly follow. 


Twitter@AgrofuelAction 


1. ROCs Consultation Information about the Consultation on the Renewables 
Obligation Banding Review can be found at 
 http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/consultations/cons_ro_review/cons_ro_review.aspx. 

2. The European Environment Agency provides independent information on the 
environment to the EU. Its September 2011 report on bioenergy stated, 
'Hence, legislation that encourages substitution of fossil fuels by 
bioenergy, irrespective of the biomass source, may even result in 
increased carbon emissions – thereby accelerating global warming.' The 
full report can be found 
at:
http://www.eea.europa.eu/about-us/governance/scientific- 
committee/sc-opinions/opinions-on-scientific-issues/sc-opinion-on-greenhouse-gas 
 

3. The United Nations Environment Programme 2011 Report, `The Rush for Land 
and Its Potential Environmental Consequence', can be found at 



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Biofuels are a wide range of fuels which are in some way derived from biomass.

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