Biofuel groups call for 15% biofuel in transportation fuel

By ePURE | December 04, 2015

The global biofuels and industrial biotechnology sectors have united to call on world leaders attending the COP21 in Paris to support a global commitment to replace at least 15 percent of the world’s total oil use in transport with sustainable biofuels by 2030, with a significant presence of advanced biofuels.

The call for action was issued by five biofuel and biotech organizations that collectively represent over 330 companies responsible for 90 percent of the world’s biofuels production and comes ahead of a joint industry event at the World Climate Summit on Dec. 6 in Paris during COP21.

Today, global transport emissions have increased to 14 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and about a quarter of the total energy-related CO2 emissions. With the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicting that transport emissions could double by 2050, the need for preventative policy measures by world leaders is clear and urgent. According to the IPCC, transport’s growing emissions could be cut by 15-40 percent through “aggressive and sustained” policy measures, including reducing the carbon intensity of fuels by substituting oil-based products with biofuels.

According to the International Energy Agency, by 2050, sustainable biofuels could provide 27 percent of the world’s total transport fuel and avoid around 2.1 gigatonnes of CO2 emissions per year, with biofuels eventually providing 23 percent of total emission reductions in the transport sector. Sustainable biofuels, such as ethanol, can be used in the existing vehicle fleet to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40-90 percent compared to fossil fuels and must be considered an important part of the toolkit to decarbonise transport.

Robert Wright, secretary-general of the European renewable ethanol association (ePURE), said “Biofuels are not a silver bullet—but they are one of the major technologies available to decarbonize transport. Biofuels can be used in the existing vehicle fleet to immediately reduce emissions and are therefore a key part of the toolkit to reduce global transport emissions.”

Elizabeth Farina, president and CEO of Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA), said “Biofuels are almost the only solution for a cleaner transport available at a commercial scale today. Ethanol can reduce emissions by 90 percent. We cannot dismiss such an option”.