Governments today are much less persuaded that subsidising the burning of biomass to generate low-carbon electricity represents good value for taxpayers – let alone a good deal for our Net Zero targets. Elsewhere, in the world of controversial technologies, Carbon Capture and Storage is still struggling to prove it will ever live up to the promises made on its behalf over the last 25 years. So what happens when you bring the two together, as Drax is now planning to do with its huge new BECCS investment at its Selby plant in Yorkshire? Is it possible to envisage ‘BECCS done well’? If so, on what terms?
Jonathon Porritt is an eminent writer and campaigner on sustainable development. In 1996 he co-founded Forum for the Future, a leading international sustainable development charity, working with business and civil society to accelerate the shift toward a sustainable future.
In 2022 he chaired the High Level Panel on BECCS Done Well, which reported in November 2023: Read the report
Jonathon is President of The Conservation Volunteers, and is actively involved in the work of many other NGOs and organisations.
He was formerly Co-Chair of the Green Party (1980-83), Director of Friends of the Earth (1984-90), a Trustee of WWF-UK (1991-2005), a member of the Board of the South West Regional Development Agency (1999-2008), and a Trustee of Ashden. He stood down as Chair of the UK Sustainable Development Commission in 2009, after nine years providing high-level advice to Government Ministers. Jonathon served a ten-year term as Chancellor of Keele University (2012-2022), and was a Non-Executive Director of Willmott Dixon until 2022.
In 2017, Jonathon received Ethical Corporation’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the Responsible Business Awards. He was awarded a CBE in January 2000 for services to environmental protection.
His latest book, Hope in Hell (Simon & Schuster, 2020) is a powerful ‘call to action’ on the Climate Emergency.