Drax under scrutiny over alleged “misleading” CO2 claim

Several NGOs allege that Drax has made various “misleading” and “inaccurate” statements regarding its business activities

Power generator Drax will be scrutinised following a complaint submitted to the UK National Contact Point (UK NCP) by a group of non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

The NGOs claim that Drax breached certain paragraphs of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises by making various misleading or inaccurate statements about their business’ carbon emissions and the environmental impact of their business activities.

More specifically, the complaint alleges that Drax’s claims to generate “carbon-neutral” electricity by burning trees and other forest wood violates OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises on responsible business conduct.

After conducting an initial assessment of the complaint, the UK NCP said it has decided that this complaint merits further consideration.

Elsie Blackshaw-Crosby, Managing Lawyer at The Lifescape Project, one of the NGOs behind the complaint, said: “Drax continues to mislead the public and investors, pocketing billions in publicly funded renewable energy subsidies while claiming to positively impact the environment.

“The UK NCP’s acknowledgement that our claims warrant further investigation is a step in the right direction. We hope that this decision will lead to the withdrawal of misleading statements and a broader awareness amongst policymakers that burning wood, while claiming environmental credit, is simply wrong.”

Yesterday, it was reported that in a letter sent to an anti-biomass campaigner Sir David Attenborough said the practice of cutting forests to fuel Britain’s biomass power stations was ‘alarming’.

A Drax spokesperson told ELN: “The biomass which Drax uses to generate reliable, renewable electricity for millions of UK households and businesses has a positive impact on communities, nature and the climate.

“The world’s leading climate scientists at the UN’s IPCC say biomass is needed in order to achieve global climate targets.

“The UK National Contact Point’s decision in their initial assessment does not mean that it considers Drax to have acted inconsistently with the OECD Guidelines. We are engaging with the NCP on the next steps in this process.”

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