Subsidies will burn UK forests

Published:  11 August, 2011

Guest blogger Karl Morris, managing director of Norbord says that the Government should rethink its bioenergy policy.

You give me £50 and I’ll give it to energy companies to buy the UK forests to burn for energy. CO2 will increase, jobs will be lost, and we’ll all pay more for wood products.

Fiction? Well, that’s what Government policy is targeting.

UK forests harvest 10m tonnes of wood annually. Bioenergy targets require over 80 million tonnes. Subsidies pay for transport from the world’s forests. That could make sense.

Unfortunately, Government failed to spot the obvious; the subsidy is also available to buy UK wood; wood that is already being put to better use by the wood processing industries.

Burning wood releases carbon, building with it stores it; and it can’t be used twice.

So if these subsidies are used to buy and burn the UK’s wood, rather than building with it, we’ll all contribute to a £1billion bill to increase CO2, reduce jobs, and increase the cost of wood products.

You couldn’t make it up!

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