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Are Innogy´s marketing claims just greenwashing?

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Environmental campaigners criticize biomass investments by RWE spinoff Innogy during company’s AGM:

Are Innogy´s marketing claims just greenwashing?

Joint Press Release by Denkhaus Bremen, Dogwood Alliance and Biofuelwatch
– for immediate release –

24rd April 2017 – “Instead of flooding Germany with a million-dollar greenwashing campaign, Innogy should immediately quit its environmentally damaging biomass activities in the US,” says Peter Gerhardt, forest expert of the German organization Denkhaus Bremen [1]. The RWE spinoff’s first AGM takes place in Essen, Germany, today [2]. The question, according to Peter Gerhardt, is: “Are Innogy´s marketing claims just greenwashing?”

Innogy owns a US company, Georgia Biomass [3], which according to its website, is the largest wood pellet plant in the world. It has an annual production capacity of 750,000 tonnes and produces pellets mainly for European power stations.

The US environmental organization Dogwood Alliance [4] criticizes Innogy’s biomass operations: “Innogy is directly responsible for forest destruction here in the US. Big biomass facilities in the US South like Georgia Biomass are increasing forest destruction at a time when, more than ever, we need to keep our forests standing in the name of climate change, not log them”, emphasizes campaign director Adam Macon.

“Companies such as RWE and Innogy are exploiting renewable energy subsidies which guarantee the growing market for wood pellets in the EU,” explains Almuth Ernsting of the UK/US organization Biofuelwatch [5]: “Large-scale wood-based bioenergy is not climate friendly and therefore should not be classified as renewable energy source by the EU. Renewable energy subsidies should go to genuine low-carbon renewables such as sustainable wind and solar power, not to cutting down and burning forests and tree plantations.”

In cooperation with its international partners Denkhaus Bremen is challenging the industrial-scale burning of wood by German electricity companies. Its biomass campaign is making links between campaigns against logging and pellet mills overseas and the environmental debate in Germany.

April 24th 2017

Contact:

Peter Gerhardt, Denkhaus Bremen: Tel: +49 163 7558366 (Germany)

Almuth Ernsting, Biofuelwatch, +44 131 6232600 (UK)

Notes:

[1] Denkhaus Bremen is a non-profit organization based in Germany which is dedicated to global justice: http://denkhausbremen.de/en/

[2] In April 2016, RWE turned its previously fully-owned subsidiary RWE Innogy into separate and independent company called Innogy.

[3] See: https://www.gabiomass.com/ . Georgia Biomass operates one of the world’s largest wood pellet plants at Waycross, Georgia.

[4] Dogwood Alliance is a US non-profit organisation which works to protect southern US forests and communities from destructive industrial forests, including for wood pellet production: www.dogwoodalliance.org

[5] Biofuelwatch is a UK/US campaign group against destructive large-scale industrial bioenergy: www.biofuelwatch.org.uk

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Photo: Copyright by Dogwood Alliance

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