Footage and stills by @FULouGraphy

Yesterday in Northampton, the approach road to offices of Opus Energy in Brackmill were blocked by a small group who locked on to bicycles and laid a banner across the road. Opus Energy is a subsidiary of Drax plc which is the UK’s single largest emitter of carbon and the world’s biggest burner of trees according to the campaigners. The activists from Extinction Rebellion and Axe Drax wanted to disrupt the company’s AGM which was being held there.

Drax has switched some of its energy production from coal to wood pellets, and claims this is more sustainable because it plants replacement saplings, but it burns around 14 million tonnes of wood every year and is responsible for deforestation in Canada, the USA, Latvia and Estonia.

Because the company claims its energy is ‘renewable’ it is receiving a staggering £10 billion pound subsidy from the UK government. A recent report by scientists states that the switch to biomass is not sustainable because trees are cut down much faster than they can regrow. In February more than 500 leading scientists signed an open letter to world leaders warning that “regrowth takes time the world does not have to solve climate change” and demanding an end to burning forests for fuel.

Activists want the huge subsidies to go to more sustainable renewable energy sources such as solar and wind plants and feel that the urgency of the emergency requires direct action, as governments are ignoring the science while corporations are getting on with making profit at any cost.