We are facing the collapse of our life support systems. Millions are being displaced across the global south by the effects of increasingly frequent severe weather events. On our current path, we are racing through deadly climate tipping points and feedback loops. It is a now or never point for our survival, and we need to take urgent action.
HOW DID IT GET THIS FAR?
Colonisers like the UK have the highest historic and exported emissions, having accumulated resources and wealth from the countries we pillaged at the expense of people and planet. We created a global system rigged to funnel wealth and power to a small number of companies and individuals. Today's colonisers don't brandish national flags, but instead sleek brands and high paid PR teams. Oil, coal and mining companies continue to rob resources, homes, knowledge and life from so many people already feeling the worst effects of climate breakdown. But, the polluters are going green... or so they say.
GREEN CAPITALISM WILL KILL US TOO
One of the new great scams of the fossil fuel industry is large scale BECCS (bioenergy with carbon capture and storage), or as the polluters call it "negative emissions". A plan to keep consuming, keep robbing resources, and keep profiting. This involves growing and burning either crops or forests at an unimaginable scale, burning them, counting the emissions as zero, and capturing some of the carbon emissions from the chimney when burned. In the IPCC's Fifth Integrated Assessment Report, the scale required to pull this off would "require plantations covering land two to three times the size of India". This would be land that should be used for food, or mass afforestation and rewilding.
DRAX IS THE PRECEDENT
Drax Power Station, in North Yorkshire, burns 25 millions trees a year that are shipped in from across the world. In September 2022, it was revealed that Drax's practices abroad are the cause of large scale environmental racism. Trees are condensed down to pellets in factories placed in predominantly Black communities in the global south. The process is so polluting, people are left struggling to breath and often trapped in their own homes. Drax presents itself as a world leader in using BECCS, and is the worlds biggest burner of trees. They can only operate because of over £6billion in subsidies taken straight from our energy bills, supposedly for renewable energy.
IT'S DOWN TO US
Drax can only operate with a social licence and government funding. We need to challenge that social licence and disrupt them and the politicians that support them.