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Stop Burning TREES

Trees do a good job for the planet. They absorb CO2 from the atmosphere as they grow and this carbon remains locked in the wood until it is burned. When a biomass power station burns wood, all the carbon is released back into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming.

On 22 November 2011, members of the UK Parliament, Lords, journalists and members of the Wood Panel Industries Federation gathered at the Houses of Parliament to discuss www.stopburningourtrees.org, a new campaign to discuss better ways to generate green energy. Many of the key messages mirrored those given at the recent FERN event at the EU Parliament,1 e.g., that a supply-led approach to forest productivity is necessary. Other messages were more UK focused.

The event highlighted that the Renewable Obligations Certificate (ROC) system encourages power stations to burn trees to make electricity, thereby stimulating demand for timber which is already overused – “by 2030 we’ll be burning our trees so fast, there won’t be time for them to grow back.”2

Other concerns included that burning trees for energy production as currently planned will not reduce carbon emissions. However, it will increase the price of electricity, drive up the price of timber products and reduce jobs in manufacturing. Their suggested way forward? To use ROCs to encourage only the burning of wood that would otherwise go to landfill, and encourage the creation of small-scale heat and power plants.
 

Support the campaign and sign the petition (we hope to have an Irish version of this campaign soon) here...

22 March, 2012: MINISTER OF STATE SHANE MCENTEE WARNS OF RISKS POSED BY ILLEGAL AND UNCONTROLLED LAND BURNING

Under the Wildlife Act 1976 (as amended) it is illegal to burn growing vegetation on land not then cultivated, between 1st March and 31st August in any year. Minister McEntee said; “Setting fire to growing vegetation at this time of year is not only an extremely dangerous practice, it is also illegal. I am deeply concerned that the irresponsible and illegal actions of a minority of landowners could lead to the widespread devastation caused by illegal land burning as witnessed during the springs of 2010 and 2011.

Uncontrolled land burning significantly increases the risk of forest fires and consequently risks the lives of rural dwellers, their property, and their livelihoods. Over the past two years, hundreds of hectares of forestry were destroyed due to illegal and careless land burning, while we continue to count the cost of damage to wildlife and natural habitats”.

22 March 2012 -MINISTER OF STATE SHANE MCENTEE WARNS OF RISKS POSED BY ILLEGAL AND UNCONTROLLED LAND BURNING
application/mswordPRBurning vegatation.doc (126 KB)
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