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Biofuels: Making the climate crisis worse, not better

Agrofuels (biofuels from intensive agriculture) are increasingly being burned as a supposedly 'green' alternative to fossil fuels. However, because of emissions from deforestation and intensive agriculture, they can be at least as damaging to the climate as coal, oil and gas.

Scientific consensus over the unreliabilty and danger posed by biofuel burning increases the urgency of this campaign. The carbon intensity of biomass electricity leaves a huge carbon hole in its wake that cannot be ignored. Claims that burning wood is a carbon neutral process as newly planted trees will eventually absorb and store the carbon that is released when wood is burned are shady arguments, too, as they fail to disclose the catch: time. It can take between thirty five to fifty years for new trees planted now to offset the carbon released by harvesting and burning the forests that preceeded them. And time is just what we do not have!

In light of this, it is even possible to argue that burning trees to produce electricity could actually increase carbon emissions compared with fossil fuels. Biofuel burning is not a clean alternative to dirty energy production that it is so commonly pedalled as being, as this RSPB report nicely details. 

Biofuelwatch is an organisation, based in the UK and the US, who provides information, advocacy and campaigning in relation to the climate, environmental, human rights and public health impacts of large-scale industrial bioenergy. For more information about the organisation click here.

Biofuelwatch continues to support local campaigns against proposed and existing biomass power stations in the UK.  In recent months, they have supported campaigners in West Thurrock, in Andover, in Milford Haven, and in Norwich.  For a roundup of news on those campaigns, please see biofuelwatch.org.uk/local-campaigns-uk.

They would love to hear from people who live close to other biomass power station sites, in particular anyone living in Anglesey or Neath and Port Talbot (where Orthios Energy are proposing two huge biomass power stations), in Teesside (where MGT Power wants to build a large plant) and near Lynemouth (where Czech energy company EPH is converting the mothballed Lynemouth Power Station to biomass).


Find out more about biofuels and climate change here and one of Biofuelwatch's report here.

You can also watch this short clip of Biofuelwatch's Pete Deane speaking at our Time to Act march (07/03/15).

You can also view our past biofuel campaigns page here.

 
 

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