This week saw the AGM of Drax – the UK’s biggest coal fired power station and the biggest biomass power station in the UK and HSBC who fund mining in Colombia and Russia.
Protesters from Biofuelwatch were joined by campaigners from Coal Action Network, London Mining Network and others to highlight the human and environmental damage that this power station is causing. Drax burns coal from Russia and Colombia, extracted from mines with appalling human rights records, as well as entire trees from Southern USA, destroying precious ecosystems. Drax power station is propped up by subsidies of £1million per day from the government for renewable energy. Biomass isn’t renewable as the trees the cut today wont reappear tomorrow.
On Friday Move Your Money crashed HSBC’s AGM. Move Your Money were in attendance to confront the Board over their financing for coal mining on behalf of the hundreds of people who have supported our #QuitCoal campaign, many of them aggrieved HSBC customers.
Both Drax and HSBC have blood on their hands due to their association – through burning the coal and financing of the Cerrejón mine and Drummond mining company in Colombia, respectively. As Richard Solly from London Mining Network said, addressing the Board:
“After many years of local, national and international pressure, Cerrejón Coal has put some effort into improving its community relations, but on 24 February this year there was another brutal eviction of a farming family on behalf of the company by the notorious Colombian riot police squadron, ESMAD. Over a dozen people were injured, including a young man with learning difficulties and a pregnant woman who suffered a miscarriage as a result.”
After the Drax AGM demonstration campaigners went to the Department of Energy and Climate Change to hand in an 8,000 signature petition calling for an end to subsidies for biomass. Protesters from Sheffield University also demonstrated at Drax power station on the same day.
It’s time that Drax investigated how to provide a just transition to a sustainable industry for its workers and HSBC divested from fossil fuels.
For full write up of the HSBC demo see Move Your Money’s website