World Biogas Association makes emissions reduction declaration at COP25

The World Biogas Association (WBA) presented a declaration at the UN’s Conference of Parties in Madrid (COP25), outlining a declaration that the biogas sector will deliver a 12 per cent reduction in global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030, provided world governments adequately support the industry.

An image of an anaerobic digestion plant

Presented by WBA President David Newman on Friday (6 December), the Biogas and Climate Change Commitment Declaration has been signed by leading WBA members including BTS Biogas Italy and Germany, Clarke Energy UK and SUEZ France. Calling on world leaders to support the biogas industry in unlocking its potential, the declaration’s signatories have committed to reducing their environmental impact and driving biogas expansion across the globe.

The UN Climate Change Conference COP25, held in Madrid from 2-13 December, has seen representatives from more than 200 countries discuss the goals of the Paris climate agreement.

In his declaration speech, Newman said: “The need for urgent action is clear to all; governments alone cannot resolve the climate change emergency, they need help. The biogas industry can offer technologies and the mobilisation of huge financial resources to help reduce GHG by 12 per cent within a decade.

“We support the UN process and our corporate members commit to doing their part to help this process become reality. There is no time to lose.”

Ovais Sarmard, Deputy Executive Secretary of the UN Climate Change Secretariat, responded: “I thank you for bringing us this important commitment. The UN negotiating process alone is not enough; we also need innovation, technologies, private sector investments, to make national commitments a reality on the ground. The scale of the commitment by the global biogas industry is precisely the sort of example we need and we will ensure this is transmitted to the Parties.”

To support its members, the WBA has committed to providing assistance, technical training and advice in the development of biogas technologies.

Global Potential of Biogas

In June, the WBA published a report highlighting the potential of anaerobic digestion (AD) to generate renewable energy and reduce GHG emissions. Entitled ‘Global Potential of Biogas’, the report found that just two per cent of feedstocks suitable for the production of biogas is currently being used. The report concluded that the biogas industry is capable of treating much more feedstock, preventing up to four billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent annually which would represent at least 12 per cent of today’s global emissions by 2030.

Following the publication of this report, the WBA issued a series of recommendations on how governments and financial institutions can support the industry in fulfilling its decarbonisation potential, suggesting that AD should be central to circular economy strategies.

The WBA also recommends policies to increase biodegradable waste capture, for example by developing separate food waste collections and mandatory food waste collection and treatment for businesses of a certain size.

You can read the Biogas and Climate Change Commitment Declaration on the WBA website.

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