WBA to highlight value of AD at COP26 online event

On 10 November, the World Biogas Association (WBA) will call for the transformational change of waste management systems at a live-streamed COP26 Blue Zone event.

During the event, the WBA will demonstrate the ‘critical value’ of anaerobic digestion (AD) in reducing global methane emissions. Human activities generate billions of tonnes of organic wastes annually which, if left untreated, emit vast amounts of methane alongside other greenhouse gases.

A key theme of COP26, as illustrated by the formal launch of the Global Methane Pledge in Glasgow, is reducing methane emissions – a GHG 86 times more potent than CO2 in the first 20 years after the release into the atmosphere. Over 100 countries have now signed up, committing them to reducing their emissions by 30% from 2020 levels by 2030. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), this will serve to reduce global temperatures by at least 0.2oC by 2050.

The Global Methane Assessment published by the UN Environmental Programme and Climate and Clean Air Coalition in May recognises AD as “one of the key technologies that can deliver methane reductions at low cost”. The US Environmental Protection Agency calls AD a ‘common-sense technology’ to cut methane emissions.

WBA modelling for the Biogas: Pathways to 2030 report, published in March, shows that preventing emissions of methane and other harmful gases from organic wastes can have the net effect of reducing global GHG emissions by 10% by 2030.

“Recycling the 105 billion tonnes of methane-emitting organic wastes we humans produce every year through AD is an easy win,” said Charlotte Morton, WBA’s chief executive, “it is a technology widely used across the world today.

“But it is not widely known as a solution, so we are delighted to be given this opportunity to showcase the value of AD and biogas in reducing methane emissions to the world’s most influential players in the climate change agenda.

“COP26 is humanity’s last chance to secure the political and financial commitments to avert a climate catastrophe and we owe it to current and future generations to ensure that all available technologies are exploited in order to keep global warming below the critical 1.5oC tipping point.”

The WBA COP26 event, held in partnership with the Kenya Climate Change Working Group, will be streamed live on 10 November from 4pm to 5.15pm GMT.

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