GRFA calls for G20 leadership on emissions reduction plans

By Global Renewable Fuels Alliance | October 24, 2016

Oct. 24, Bliss Baker, the president of the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance, called on G20 countries to demonstrate leadership by taking immediate action to reduce GHG emissions in response to recent reports showing that global temperature rise has been accelerating at much higher rates than were anticipated in negotiating the Paris Agreement reached at COP21. The primary objective of the Paris Agreement is to keep global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius this century, and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
 
Baker was commenting on data released by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that showed average global temperatures in the first six months of 2016 were already approaching 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with strong indications that global carbon dioxide (CO2) levels will soon exceed the symbolic 400 parts-per-million concentration level.
 
“The ink on the Paris Agreement was barely dry before the foundation on which the negotiations were based had fundamentally shifted.” Baker said. “These changing circumstances should serve as a clear signal to the leaders of advanced economies that accelerated action to reduce CO2 emissions in the short and medium term is critical” he added.
 
Baker made his comments in advance of the Paris Agreement entering into force on Nov. 4, just three days before the start of COP22 when countries will next have an opportunity to discuss actions to limit global emissions.
 
It is estimated that the transport sector accounts for approximately 25 percent of all energy-related global CO2 emissions at present while having the lowest renewable energy share of any sector. Additionally, emissions growth in the transport sector is the highest of all sectors, and is expected to increase by over one-third by 2030.
 
A recent report by the International Renewable Energy Agency called REMap outlined the key role that biofuels will have to play in the transition to a low carbon global transport sector to 2030 and beyond. The report describes the potential to significantly scale up renewables in the global transport sector on a cost-efficient basis to 2030 by setting biofuels targets. It estimates that demand for liquid biofuels would quadruple to 500 billion liters within the next 15 years.
 
“Increased mandates for low-carbon transport fuel alternatives to crude oil like ethanol are a cost-effective and immediately available option to significantly reduce CO2 emissions,” Baker said. “In 2014 alone, global ethanol use in the transport sector reduced emissions by 160 million tonnes CO2 equivalent,” Baker noted, “increased biofuel use represents huge potential for CO2 emission reductions in the transport sector that G20 nations must commit to in the short and medium term to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement,” he added.