End subsidies for biomass, campaigners argue

UK and US campaign groups are urging the government to scrap subsidies for biomass in next week’s budget.

The coalition of NGOs, including Biofuelwatch, Fern, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Southern Environmental Law Center, said biomass received over £800m in subsidies under the Renewable Obligation Certificate scheme in 2015. 

They said burning biomass to generate electricity was increasing carbon emissions rather than reducing them, highlighting recent reports from think tank Chatham House and consultancy Vivid Economics.

The Chatham House report, written by Duncan Brack, former special adviser to Chris Huhne when he was energy secretary, stated that the assumption biomass was carbon neutral was wrong. Brack pointed out that utilities are not required to fully account for the carbon emissions associated with burning biomass for electricity, ...

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