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WBA calls for ‘decisive policies’ to fulfil biogas decarbonisation potential

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The World Biogas Association (WBA) has issued recommendations to world governments, financial institutions and other key decision makers to support the industry in becoming a major player in meeting decarbonisation commitments. The WBA’s requirements follow the publication of its Global Potential of Biogas report that shows biogas could rapidly reduce world GHG emissions by 12%.

At the centre of the WBA’s message is the need to move away from fossil fuels and invest in the infrastructure and incentives to build a powerful anaerobic digestion (AD) and biogas industry. This will help to provide a ‘stable and flexible’ source of clean energy, according to WBA, as well as bio-fertilisers for agriculture and a ‘potent waste management and sanitation solution’.

The WBA adheres to the call issued by the United Nations Environment Programme to measure and eliminate fossil fuels subsidies. According to the organisation, these subsidies are around 3-4 times the direct subsidies given to renewable energy.

“We will not meet climate change targets unless there is a level playing field put in place to support low carbon alternatives to fossil fuels for energy generation, such as biogas,” said WBA president David Newman.

“Our industry, in particular, offers greater benefits towards the developments of a sustainable circular economy, turning harmful organic wastes into green electricity, gas and transport fuel, and also into a zero-carbon fertiliser that restores the soil and boosts crop yields; it brings economic growth through employment and cost savings and promotes health and wellbeing through better living conditions.

“The technology is mature, but we are currently processing only 2% of the feedstock available globally. All we need to unleash this huge potential is the political and financial will to build the policy, regulatory and operational infrastructure that we need, but time is running out.”

The WBA’s key recommendations include:

• National pledges to reduce GHG emissions – Including the removal of fossil fuels subsidies
• The inclusion of AD into these pledges
• Policies to increase biodegradable waste capture
• Development of a robust infrastructure to support the collection and processing of feedstock in large communities and remote rural areas
• The management of digestate and implementation of regulations and standards for safe trading and use
• Measures to ensure and is managed with due diligence to environmental impact and the sustainable implementation of energy crops.