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OECD to assess greenwashing complaint against Drax

Posted on 1 August 2022

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) will scrutinise a complaint submitted to the UK National Contact Point (UK NCP) about climate neutrality claims made by the UK bioenergy company Drax.

The complaint asserts that Drax is misleading consumers and violates rules on responsible business conduct by portraying itself as generating carbon-neutral electricity while actively damaging the climate and forests. Despite claims to generate “carbon-neutral” electricity, the energy giant is burning trees and other forest wood in violation of OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises on responsible business conduct.

The complaint is supported by NGOs Conservation North (Canada), Biofuelwatch (UK), and Save Estonia’s Forests (Estonia). 

After conducting an initial assessment, the OECD’s UK National Contact Point said in a statement, “This complaint merits further consideration”.

Mishcon de Reya is the legal advisor to The Lifescape Project and The Partnership for Policy Integrity, environmental groups that have filed a landmark complaint with the OECD against the UK’s largest carbon emitter, Drax Group plc. 

Elsie Blackshaw-Crosby, Managing Lawyer at The Lifescape Project, said: "The UK NCP's acknowledgement that our claims warrant further investigation is a step in the right direction. We hope that this decision will lead to the withdrawal of misleading statements and a broader awareness amongst policy makers that burning wood, while claiming environmental credit, is simply wrong."

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