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UK AD industry writes to COP26 President Alok Sharma

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Industry associations and businesses in the UK anaerobic digestion (AD) sector have written to COP26 President Alok Sharma, urging him to support the industry.

Organisations including ADBA, CNG Fuels, the National Farmers’ Union, Severn Trent and the Energy Networks Association are among the signatories of the letter, which highlights AD’s potential in achieving net zero.

Industry representatives say the UK is currently missing a “huge opportunity” to build on an existing UK success story by turning all organic wastes into bioresources, which would help the UK achieve carbon neutrality, including delivering one-third of the 5th Carbon Budget shortfall; build back greener by creating 600,000 green jobs this decade; help level up the country by creating jobs in rural areas; support the UK’s agricultural sector and food and drinks industry; boost the UK’s exports to a $1 trillion (€1.16 trillion) global industry that is growing ‘exponentially’, and set an example to the rest of the world.

Over 140 million tonnes of readily available organic wastes are still left undigested in the UK every year. Organic waste, when recycled through AD, can be turned into biogas, bio-CO2 and biofertiliser.

The industry recently launched the UK AD and Biogas Industry Climate Declaration, whereby the sector commits to doing everything in its power to help the UK meet its climate goals by achieving its full potential of reducing the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions by 6% by 2030. This would deliver 30% of the shortfall needed to meet the 5th carbon budget for 2030.

The letter concludes by noting that there are private sector investors with more than £5 billion (€5.8 billion) ready to invest in the UK industry if this strategy were to be agreed upon. However, without political backing, this will not happen.

“By this letter, we are therefore asking for your support in advocating for the unlocking of the potential of our industry and would welcome a meeting with you to discuss in greater detail how this can be achieved.”