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The Lifescape Project, et al. v. Drax Group PLC

Jurisdiction: National Point of Contact for OECD Guidelines


Side A: Biofuelwatch (Ngo)


Side A: Conservation North (Ngo)


Side A: Save Estonia's Forests (Ngo)


Side A: The Lifescape Project (Ngo)


Side A: The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (Ngo)


Side A: The Partnership for Policy Integrity (Ngo)


Side B: Drax Group PLC (Corporation)


Core objectives: Violation of OECD guidelines on environment and consumer interests by Drax through misleading or inaccurate statements about Drax's business carbon emissions, and the climate and environmental impact of their business and supply chain activities.


Summary
A group of NGOs collectively filed a complaint against Drax Group PLC, a UK-based energy company, to the UK NCP. 

The complainants argued that Drax violated provisions of Chapter VI (Environment) and Chapter VIII (Consumer Interests) of the OECD Guidelines, by misleading or inaccurate statements on Drax's business' carbon emissions and the environmental impact of their business activities. 

The complainants summarised public statements by Drax from 2018 to 2021 with regard to the use of woody biomass fuel as 5 claims:
  1. "Woody biomass is already effectively a carbon neutral energy generation technology"
  2. "Woody biomass energy has resulted in Drax reducing its carbon emissions by 90% compared to when it burnt coal for energy"
  3. "Using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage ("BECCS"), Drax can become "carbon negative" by 2030"
  4. "Drax accounts for all supply chain emissions of woody biomass energy"
  5. "Whole trees are not felled to produce wood pellets burnt by Drax and Drax's woody biomass energy does not damage forests"

The complainants argued that the defendant misrepresented wood biomass as carbon neutral and that the claims on the environmental impact are misleading. Drax denied all allegations.

The UK NCP concluded in its Initial Assessment that the claims 1, 2, 4 and 5, merit further considerations in relation to Chapter VI and Chapter VIII. The UK NCP offered mediation to both parties. 
Case documents

from the Grantham Research Institute
from the Grantham Research Institute
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