Tuesday, June 2, 2015

[Biofuelwatch] Biofuelwatch June Newsletter

Biofuelwatch June Newsletter
Biofuelwatch June Newsletter
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Dear subscriber, this is the June edition of our newsletter, with news of our campaigns, the campaigns we support, and important policy developments.

In this newsletter:

  1. #AxeDrax campaign: action round up
  2. 100k people say no public funds for a new power station! Petition hand-in
  3. Banking on big biomass campaign: GIB Annual Review protest
  4. Updates from local campaigns fighting big biomass developments
  5. New Biofuelwatch website launched!
  6. New Look for "Forest Cover" newsletter

Interested in hosting a talk about the impacts of biomass power stations, biofuels or large-scale bioenergy in general?  Please contact us and we will try and get a speaker.

You can also make a donation, and get in contact with us here.

1. #AxeDrax April action round up

On Wednesday 22nd April 2015 we celebrated Earth Day by targeting the UK's biggest power station at its company AGM. Highlights of the day included:
  • A lively protest outside the AGM, held in collaboration with the London Mining Network
  • Disruption inside the AGM
  • A stunt at the DECC offices
  • An open letter delivered to DECC from groups based in North America, South America and Europe.
Watch the video about April's demonstration to stop Drax burning biomass and coal here.

Sign On: Read the International Open Letter to DECC

Sign the petition: No public funds for a new power station at Drax!

Follow: #axedrax twitter updates

3. Green Investment Bank: upcoming Annual Review protest

As part of our ongoing "Banking on Big Biomass" campaign, Biofuelwatch and the UK Without Incineration Network, will be paying a visit to the Green Investment Bank (GIB) at their Annual Review on Thursday the 25th of June from 9.30am – 12.30pm at Gibson Hall, London, EC2N 3BA. You can find more details here.

The Green Investment Bank (GIB) was set-up to help finance low-carbon projects, but its first big loan went to Drax coal-fired power station, to help it convert half of its capacity to biomass. Read more about this here.

For the 3rd year running we will picket their annual review and demand that the GIB invest in genuinely renewable forms of energy, instead of big polluting biomass developments. We invite you to join us!

For more information and updates on this action, please visit our London local group "London Biomassive" or email biofuelwatch@ymail.com.

5. New Biofuelwatch website!

We've just launched a shiny new website, that you'll hopefully find easier to navigate and more attractive to look at. If you have feedback for us, or notice something that doesn't work, please let us know by emailing biofuelwatch@ymail.com.

6. New Look for "Forest Cover" newsletter

A brand new edition of Forest Cover, the Global Forest Coalition newsletter, is now available to download. It has been co-produced with Biofuelwatch, and focuses on the impacts of wood-based bioenergy on forests and forest peoples.

Download the print version to read on about bioenergy, forests, a summary of the international strategy meeting, a photo essay on impacts of unsustainable livestock farming and on wood-based bioenergy, and a case study on the Bukaleba Forest Reserve.

For future editions, you can subscribe to the newsletter by writing to gfc@globalforestcoalition.org
2. 100k people say no public funds for a new power station! Petition hand-in

18th June 2015 · 09:00-10:00 · DECC 3 Whitehall Place, London, SW1A 2AW

Facebook event page · Webpage

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is planning to award up to £1bn in support for a new coal and biomass power station at Drax. The White Rose Project, if it is allowed to be constructed, will be the first new coal-fired power station to be built in the UK since 1974. It will lock the UK into even more coal and biomass burning long into the future, regardless of whether it captures any CO2 or not.

In April a petition started by Biofuelwatch, the London Mining Network and Dogwood Alliance was signed by 113,500 people, who demanded "no public funds for the White Rose power station". There's still time to add your voice, sign the petition, and share it with your friends!

On the 18th June We will deliver this petition to DECC, accompanied by White Rosie, a giant inflatable white elephant. We invite you to join us!

4. Updates from local campaigns fighting big biomass developments

Markinch Biomass Power station in Scotland

In March 2014, RWE began commissioning a biomass plant in Markinch. The original rationale behind the development was to replace an old coal and gas-fired combined heat and power plant (which supplied energy to local business,Tullis Russell) with one which burnt biomass. Supplying the Tullis Russell paper mill with all the heat and electricity needed to run, required a 17 MWe CHP plant replacement. However, the power station which RWE finally built was expanded to 65 MW of electricity capacity.

Over the last year residents from Markinch and from Methil and Cardenden (areas where RWE is carrying out related operations) have been reporting detrimental impacts from wood dust, noise pollution, increased traffic on the roads and light pollution, among other impacts.

And now, as of April 2015, the original supposed incentive for this major biomass power station, Tullis Russell, has gone into administration with the loss of 325 jobs, and put a further 149 at risk. However RWE has said that the power plant can run independently of the paper makers, and will continue to operate.

So while this development was originally accepted as a necessity for ensuring the continuation of an important local employer, all that the residents of Markinch have been left with is a dirty development on their doorstep.

Please sign the petition calling on Fife Council to undertake air quality monitoring here.

Waste Wood Gasifier in Thurrock

In Grays, West Thurrock, residents are mobilising against another proposed waste wood gasifier which Nexterra and Balfour Beatty want to build. 

So far, Nexterra has built three gasifiers to supply electricity in North America - one resulted in three 'potentially lethal' accidents before being shut down (according to a spokesperson at the university where it was installed), another failed soon after opening, and a third is now over a year behind schedule.

Nonetheless, since the Green Investment Bank granted support for a Nexterra waste wood gasifier near Birmingham, they and Balfour Beatty have been pushing forward ever more plans across England. 

Residents in Grays are deeply concerned because the site is right next to residential housing, an oil pipeline runs along the side of this development, raising health and safety concerns, and because of high existing levels of air pollution in the area.  Biofuelwatch is providing support for this campaign.

Biofuelwatch 2015. Contact us: biofuelwatch@ymail.com biofuelwatch.org.uk

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

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