Drax aims to be ‘carbon negative’ by 2030

Drax CEO Will Gardiner

The CEO of North Yorkshire-based power company Drax Group plc said on Tuesday it is the first company in the world to announce an ambition to become “carbon negative.”

Drax CEO Will Gardiner made the announcement at a Powering Past Coal Alliance event at COP 25 in Madrid.

Gardiner said Drax has an ambition to become carbon negative by 2030, but doing so will “depend on an effective negative emissions policy and investment framework for new technologies like bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).”

Being carbon negative means that Drax will be removing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than it produces throughout its operations – creating a negative carbon footprint for the company within a decade.

“Drax’s ambition is to be carbon negative by 2030,” said Gardiner.

“Having pioneered the use of sustainable biomass, Drax now produces 12% of the UK’s renewable electricity.

“With the right negative emissions policy, we can do much more, removing millions of tonnes of emissions from the atmosphere each year.

“The UK Government is working on a policy and investment framework to encourage negative emissions technologies, which will enable the UK to be home to the world’s first carbon negative company.

“This is not just critical to beating the climate crisis, but also to enabling a just transition, protecting jobs and creating new opportunities for clean growth – delivering for the economy as well as for the environment.”

In the first half of 2019, 94% of the power produced by Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire was renewable.

Drax said that after closing its remaining two coal generating units at Drax Power Station by 2025 and using carbon capture technology on its biomass power generating units, its operations would become carbon negative by 2030.