Biomass Strategy Challenge, UK

The Lifescape Project is taking the UK government to court over ‘irrational’ plans to spend billions on new technology that relies on logging and burning trees for energy, then storing the carbon pollution belowground.  The case alleges the government is fundamentally misrepresenting the dangers of the technology, known as biomass energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). 

Clearcut old growth forest in British Columbia. UK-based Drax manufactures trees from these forests into wood pellets that are burned for renewable energy at its power plant in North Yorkshire. Photo: Dominic Dellasala, Wild Heritage.

The UK government continues to promote burning trees for renewable energy, despite evidence submitted by scientists and advocates showing that burning forest biomass is increasing greenhouse gas emissions and destroying forests. The UK Biomass Strategy, published in August 2023, doubles down on this climate and forest-wrecking scheme by promoting biomass energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) as a means of removing carbon pollution from the atmosphere, also known as “negative emissions”. The Lifescape Project, one-half of the Forest Litigation Collaborative, filed an application for judicial review of the Biomass Strategy, alleging the Strategy misrepresents the dangers of BECCS and arguing that the Strategy is ‘irrational’.

News Coverage

The Telegraph, Nov. 12, 2023. Government accused of ‘greenwashing’ over net zero strategy

The Scotsman, Nov. 13, 2023. UK Government facing legal challenge over burning of trees for energy in net-zero plan

The National, Nov. 13, 2023. Government facing legal challenge over burning trees for energy in net-zero plan

The Yorkshire Post, Nov. 13, 2023. Government faces legal challenge over support for biomass projects such as Drax

Euractiv, Nov. 13, 2023. UK sued for counting wood burning with carbon capture as ‘negative emissions’

The Independent, Nov. 13, 2023. Government facing legal challenge over burning trees for energy in net-zero plan

Bioenergy News, Nov. 13, 2023. UK government faces High Court challenge against Biomass Strategy

The ENDS Report, Nov. 13, 2023. ‘A climate fallacy’: Charity launches legal action against biomass strategy

Carbon Herald, Nov. 13, 2023. UK Faces Legal Battle Over BECCS Claims

The Argus, Nov. 13, 2023. Government facing legal challenge over burning trees for energy in net-zero plan

Irish News, Nov. 13, 2023. Government facing legal challenge over burning trees for energy in net-zero plan

Nation Cymru, Nov. 13, 2023. UK Government facing legal challenge over burning trees for energy in net-zero plan

Express and Star, Nov. 13, 2023. Government facing legal challenge over burning trees for energy in net-zero plan

Perspective, Nov. 13, 2023. Government facing legal challenge over burning trees for energy in net-zero plan

Carbon Pulse, Nov. 13, 2023. Legal challenge launched against UK government for focus on bioenergy removals

Bracknell News, Nov. 13, 2023. Government facing legal challenge over burning trees for energy in net-zero plan

Hereford Times, Nov. 13, 2023. Government facing legal challenge over burning trees for energy in net-zero plan

Power Technology, Nov. 15, 2023. Environmental groups sue UK Government for biomass and carbon capture net negative claims

Local Government Lawyer, Nov. 15, 2023. Government plan to use biomass in breach of Climate Change Act, charity argues

Euronews, Dec. 13, 2023. Opinion: The EU and UK are backing the wrong horse in the race to net zero