RFA stresses ethanol benefits at UN Climate Change Conference

By Renewable Fuels Association | December 05, 2019

Low-carbon ethanol is an economical and proven solution for fighting global climate change, the Renewable Fuels Association told world leaders this week in Madrid at the U.N. Climate Change Conference, also known as COP25.

Kelly Davis, RFA’s Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, is attending the conference to promote the environmental benefits of ethanol and meet with policymakers, industry leaders, and climate advocates from the world. She joins a small delegation of U.S. farm and biofuel industry leaders.

During the event, RFA is highlighting a recent study by Life Cycle Associates that found biofuel consumption under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has already resulted in greenhouse gas emissions reductions of nearly 600 million metric tons, far exceeding the Environmental Protection Agency’s original expectations.

“When it comes to reducing GHG emissions from the transportation sector, America’s renewable fuels industry has a remarkable success story to share with the rest of the world,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “Ethanol is a low-cost tool that is available at scale today to reduce GHG emissions. We have proven in the United States that renewable fuels can and should serve as a fundamental component of long-term decarbonization strategies.”

While in Madrid, RFA’s Davis is also highlighting recent research by the U.S. Department of Agriculture finding that today’s corn ethanol reduces GHG emissions by 43% compared to gasoline, with the potential reduction reaching up to 70% in the next three years.

Finally, RFA is also sharing information showing that ethanol has played an important role in achieving California’s GHG reduction goals under the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). Ethanol is responsible for reducing California GHG emissions by 21 million metric tons—or nearly 40% of the total emissions reductions achieved to date under the LCFS.

“I am honored to represent the U.S. ethanol industry at this important event,” Davis said. “Renewable fuels like ethanol hold tremendous promise for helping individual countries meet their GHG reduction commitments, while also stimulating rural and farm economies and reducing oil dependence. We have established new relationships and strengthened existing bonds this week, and I look forward to continuing our work together to expand the global market for low-carbon renewable fuels.”