BBC claims Drax “continues to burn wood from rare forests”

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Drax has continued to burn wood from some of the world's most previous forests, the BBC claims.
The broadcaster said that papers obtained by its Panorama programme show Drax took timber from rare forests in Canada it had claimed were 'no go areas'.
Panorama had previously claimed that Drax had obtained logging licenses in the British Columbia, Canada, and filmed logs being taken from what the programme said was primary forest to a pellet plant owned by Drax.
Following the BBC investigation, Drax denied taking wood from primary forests but said it would not apply for further logging licences in the province.
The broadcaster said that Drax still takes whole logs from forests that have been cut down by timber companies.
It added that Panorama has obtained documents from British Columbia's Ministry of Forests that show the company took more than 40,000 tonnes of wood from so-called "old-growth" forests in 2023.
A Drax spokesperson said: “We are confident our biomass is sustainable and legally harvested and meets the requirements of our 2019 sourcing policy.
“The document the BBC has referred to was published in 2017, was not a policy and is now obsolete. As a responsible business we keep our sourcing policy and practices under regular review so that that they take account of evolving forest dynamics, legislation, policy, and science.
“In October 2023, Drax made the decision to stop sourcing wood fibre directly from harvest sites which overlap with Old Growth Deferral Areas, in response to policy changes introduced by the Government of British Columbia. Work to implement this decision through the supply chain is ongoing. As a direct consequence of our decision, deliveries to Drax from the fourth harvest area originally cited by the BBC were stopped.
“The BBC has also stated that since our October 2023 decision, Drax took material from 12 harvest sites that include or ‘overlap’ with Old Growth Priority Deferral Areas’. This statement is misleading because Drax’s policy is to no longer directly source wood fibre from within these harvest sites where there is overlap with Old Growth Deferral Areas. To suggest otherwise would be a misrepresentation of our operations.
“Fibre that Drax has sourced from publicly owned forests in British Columbia has been designated as being available to harvest legally and sustainably by the Government of British Columbia, alongside First Nations. We do not own forests or sawmills and are not responsible for the licensing and harvesting of forests. Drax sources its biomass from sawmill residues, harvesting residues, and fibre which has little other use or market value. We also use low-grade roundwood that is not suitable for sawmilling or cannot access higher-value markets.”




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