PRESS RELEASE: Protest over Port of Liverpool’s role in deforestation
The Save Rimrose Valley campaign joined protestors from Biofuelwatch and Extinction Rebellion outside the Port of Liverpool on Wednesday 21st April to highlight the role it plays in deforestation in North America.
Wood pellets, created from trees felled in ecologically biodiverse forests across the Atlantic are imported into the UK via the Port of Liverpool, owned and operated by Peel Ports. They are then transferred by rail to energy company Drax’s facility in Selby, Yorkshire where they are burned to produce electricity.
In 2020, Drax received £2.27 million per day in government subsidies for burning biomass, whilst subsidies for renewable and low carbon onshore wind and solar power were slashed.
Commenting on behalf of Save Rimrose Valley, Stuart Bennett said:
“It was really important to be here today to stand alongside #AxeDrax campaigners, to highlight this practice and the hypocrisy of Peel Ports. They bemoan the lack of rail connections between the East and West of the country yet choose to ignore how many HGVs this line could remove from our roads if it weren’t being used for such a destructive purpose.
“The sustainability credentials of huge corporations like Drax and Peel Ports are laughable. Their glossy literature claims that they care about the environment, but this is the reality. It is shocking to hear of the environmental destruction and harm being done to communities across the Atlantic by this industry. Closer to home, pollution from the port, its ships and the associated HGV traffic contributes to a lower-than-average life expectancy in our part of Liverpool. And the government wants to build them a new road, destroying more trees and green space in the process?  It's a joke.
“It felt great to be part of a small demonstration again after being deprived of this during the pandemic. We’re looking forward to mobilising our communities as soon as restrictions ease for bigger protests. Peel Ports can expect more of the same unless and until they play an active role in stopping the road proposal and start respecting our communities.”
 Source: Biofuelwatch AxeDrax campaign: #AxeDrax Campaign – biofuelwatch
 The proposed road through Rimrose Valley Country Park is an upgrade to the current A5036 Liverpool Port Access Road. Highways England wants to build this road after a consultation where it offered only two options, both of which were unpalatable to the local community and in fact weren’t any choice at all. Option B (Rimrose Valley) was the least favoured. Summary of results here: