Karl Morris of Norbord.

Industry heavyweights petition for energy policy changes

Published:  08 August, 2011

UK: At the Make Wood Work conference in June, 15 leading organisations in the building industry – from trade associations to national housebuilders and manufacturers – signed a letter, 'Unintended consequences of Current Energy Policy', addressed to Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.

The campaign highlights the negative impact that biomass subsidies – available to electricity generators through the Renewables Obligation (RO) policy – will have on the wood panel industry and other wood processors.

The message – that there simply is not enough wood available in the UK to support the number and scale of biomass electricity plants that are being processed for development – is being presented by Norbord Europe. In addition, the petition is highlighting the effect that current government policy will have on UK PLC in terms of import dangers, rising energy costs, environmental damage, build prices and employment.

Norbord managing director Karl Morris explained Norbord’s agenda: “We are asking government to show some joined-up thinking on this emotive biomass question. We are aiming for a level-playing field with other industries in terms of subsidies, and hoping that the message is beginning to get through. We are planning more roundtable discussions which will bring together the UK’s timber trade associations and continued government lobbying.”

In addition, ongoing work is concentrating on garnering the support of local MPs through individual organisations across the building and construction industry.

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