Open Letter to the Government of France: To Protect Forests, Communities and the Climate, the Conversion of Cordemais Power Plant to Biomass Co-Firing Must Not Go Ahead

February 28, 2019

46 groups - representing environmental, climate and social justice organisations in the main wood pellet exporting regions and elsewhere - are deeply concerned about proposals to permit Cordemais Power Station to be kept open beyond 2021 by burning a mix of biomass and coal. By signing this international letter, we send a strong message that the power station must be shut down no later than the end of 2021 and that EDF should not be permitted to proceed with its proposed conversion to biomass.

Meeting the central aim of the Paris Agreement, i.e. keeping global warming to 1.5 or even 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels, requires an end to the burning of fossil fuels, alongside increased protection and restoration of forests and other natural ecosystems. Continuing to burn coal beyond 2022 is incompatible with the Paris Agreement, as is converting any or most of a coal power station to burning biomass. 

For the French government to meet its climate goals and to contribute to meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, all coal power stations, including that in Cordemais, must be shut down no later than 2022. Supporting wind and solar power would secure genuinely low-carbon renewable energy at a lower cost than biomass electricity, which is far from low-carbon. Investing in energy efficiency would improve energy security and reduce carbon emissions, whilst creating a high number of jobs.

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