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Britain is set to plunder the lungs of the world to feed its growing hunger for wood to burn in power stations.
A series of biomass-fired plants are being built in the UK that will trigger a 150 per cent surge in timber imports from 20 million tonnes today to 50 million tonnes by 2015, according to the Forestry Commission.
British power plants are already shipping wood from Canada, Brazil, Scandinavia and South Korea.
A recent report from the Environment Agency stated that shipping timber from overseas could halve the potential carbon dioxide savings from biomass power.
1% The amount of UK energy consumption from biomass
744 sq miles The size of forest needed for UK wood-fuelled power station growth in next three years
50% The rise in carbon discharges caused by long-distance transport and burning of wood over burning coal
30 years The time new trees need to absorb the equivalent amount of carbon released by cutting down and burning wood for fuel
Sources: Times Database; Massachusetts Environmental Energy Alliance; Biofuelwatch.co.uk