ADBA highlights AD sector’s commitment to net zero in letter to UK PM

The Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) has submitted to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson the UK AD and Biogas Industry Climate Declaration, whereby the industry commits to doing everything in its powers to reduce carbon emissions and reach net-zero goals.

With this declaration, the UK AD and biogas sector wants to send a ‘clear message’ to the Prime Minister that it is ready to help the government decarbonise the nation’s economy and meet its climate change targets. But, it also highlights that this will only be possible if Johnson’s Cabinet creates a supportive policy environment and regulatory framework now.

In its 2019 report, Biomethane: The Pathway to 2030, ADBA established that the AD industry could cut annual UK emissions by 6% by 2030. However, to achieve this, it needs a coherent and supportive policy strategy across the various departments involved – the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Department for Transport and the Treasury.

The declaration defines what is required from the government to unlock the industry’s full potential – fully deployed, the industry would also create 60,000 new jobs.

ADBA and the 48 signatories – including Host, Malaby Biogas, Adapt Biogas, Greenlane Biogas and Privilege Finance - are calling on the UK Government and authorities in cities, regions, and nations of the UK to:

  • Create an AD and green gas policy framework as soon as possible that brings together government departments’ work streams into a cohesive support strategy;

  • Support AD in agriculture, through the introduction of a tariff premium for the treatment of manures and slurries through AD and a renewable biofertiliser obligation;

  • Support the use of biomethane in transport, through its recognition as a leading low-carbon fuel to decarbonise HGV operations and better incentives to promote investment in the development of new biomethane plans for transport and refuelling infrastructure;

  • Support small businesses and community projects in developing a circular economy, using AD to transform local waste into local heat and power;

  • Establish material hierarchies for all organic wastes with AD as the optimal recycling technology;

  • Target innovation funding to support key areas of the industry that would deliver a step-change in performance, reducing or eliminating the need for financial support for the sector and improving its international competitiveness.

“The CCC has just published its Progress Report to Parliament, which highlights a huge gap between government ambition and policy reality,” said Charlotte Morton, ADBA’s chief executive.

“The UK AD and biogas industry alone can make up 30% of shortfall required to meet the Fifth Carbon Budget by 2030, including mitigating especially harmful methane emissions from organic wastes this decade.

“However, it can only do so if the UK Government acts now. Doing so would enable the Prime Minister to show the leadership we need as hosts of COP26 to encourage all other countries to follow suit.

“We thank and congratulate the 48 signatories who have already come forward. ADBA will work with other industry stakeholders to encourage them to sign the declaration and further demonstrate the industry’s full commitment to helping decarbonise the UK economy, especially across hard-to-decarbonise sectors such as transport, heat, and agriculture, and achieve the UK’s climate change goals.”

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