Organised by the Campaign Against Climate Change, a few hundred people marched from Chesil car park to Castletown to protest the planned W4B palm oil burning power station to be built on the Isle of Portland. Dorset, UK. 25/09/2010.
The march went to the Port of Portland, the site of the new palm oil burning plant, stopping briefly to pick up buckets of sand with climate emergency stickers on them. On entering the protest area in front of the gates of the site, people dumped their sand creating a mound. A line was then drawn across this and it was declared that a the protesters did not want the new build that side of the line.
There were many speakers and some live music from Hallelujah Bay followed by information workshops in a local community centre.
W4B is the project development company associated with the new build. They state on their website that, "Portland is the site of the first sustainable liquid biomass power station which is being developed as a Special Project Vehicle (W4B Renewable Energy Ltd). Planning consent was granted on January 24th 2010 and construction will begin in early 2011. The plant size is limited to 17.8 MW."
Campaign Against the Climate Change had sent two busloads of campaigners from London and Bristol, meeting up with protesters from Biofuel watch, Food Not Fuel and local campaign group N.O.P.E. (No Oil Palm Energy) amongst others.
Climate activists, protesters and members of the local community do not want to see power plants of this nature being built as ultimately they would increase the amount of palm oil imported into this country by a third.
By employing this system the government is effectively subsidising the destruction of the rainforest in South East Asia and elsewhere, putting natural habitats at risk if not destroying them.
Oe controversial factor in this process is that expansion into agrofuels would most likely not be going ahead if subsidies from the government were unavailable. As this method of energy production is classed as renewable, subsidies are available.
Developers W4B have another proposed palm oil burning plant in Bristol which will house a 50 MW biomass power station. The planning process is well underway.