Activist Greta Thunberg protests against biomass power plant in Amsterdam
Climate activist and international icon Greta Thunberg has spoken out against the construction of a biomass power plant in Diemen, a town in Amsterdam.
Vattenfall to build the Netherlands' largest biomass power plant
Plans are in place for the Netherlands’ largest biomass power plant to be built in Diemen, but a number of local residents and politicians have been critical of the plans. Last year, the project was put on hold by Vattenfall, a Swedish energy company, and a final decision about whether or not the build will go ahead is yet to be made.
A spokesperson for the company has said that, if the Dutch government, local politicians, or customers do not want the plant to be built, they will honour that. A final decision is expected after spring 2022, and Vattenfall says they are exploring alternative options.
Greta Thunberg speaks out against plans
Thunberg has added her voice to the protests, taking to Twitter to speak out against the plans. The activist quoted an investigative article in a Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, voicing her concerns about the plant's CO2 emissions.
According to the article Thunberg shared, over 200.000 tonnes of wood pellets would be burned at the plant each year, and burning pellets leads to more CO2 emissions than burning coal. Vattenfall says the plant is a step towards a fossil-free future, but Thunberg’s tweet points out how the move would actually lead to increased carbon dioxide emissions.
Biomass is officially classified as a renewable energy source, as energy is produced through the burning of plant or animal material. However, this produces significant amounts of C02, releasing it into the atmosphere. The Dagens Nyheter, therefore, argues that while Vattenfall is attempting to “go green”, the plant would actually lead to more emissions and deforestation.