Biofuel companies urge Biden to set GHG reduction goal

By Erin Voegele | April 13, 2021

Novozymes, Poet LLC, and Quad County Corn Processors are among 310 businesses and investors that have signed an open letter to President Biden urging his administration to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 50 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

“As business leaders, we care deeply about the future of the U.S. and the health of its people and economy,” the companies said in the letter. “Collectively, our businesses employ nearly 6 million American workers across all 50 states, representing over $3 trillion in annual revenue, and for those of us who are investors, we represent more than $1 trillion in assets under management. We join the majority of Americans in thanking you for re-entering the U.S into the Paris Agreement and for making climate action a vital pillar of your presidency. To restore the standing of the U.S. as a global leader, we need to address the climate crisis at the pace and scale it demands. Specifically, the U.S. must adopt an emissions reduction target that will place the country on a credible pathway to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.”

The letter explains the 2030 GHG reduction target is necessary “to catalyze a zero-emissions future, spur a robust economic recovery, create millions of well-paying jobs, and allow the U.S. to ‘build back better’ from the pandemic.” The groups also stress the suggested GHG reduction target will guide the U.S. government’s approach to ore sustainable and resilient infrastructure, zero-emissions vehicles and buildings, improved agricultural practices, and durable carbon removal. The commitment would also inspire other industrialized nation’s to set bold targets of their own, the companies said.

“Many of us have set or are setting emissions reduction goals in line with climate science since the establishment of the Paris Agreement,” they wrote. “The private sector has purchased renewable energy at record rates and along with countless cities across the country, many have committed themselves to a net zero-emissions future.

“If you raise the bar on our national ambition, we will raise our own ambition to move the U.S. forward on this journey,” they continued. “While an effective national climate strategy will require all of us, you alone can set the course by swiftly establishing a bold U.S. 2030 target.”

Novozymes said it is committed to helping the U.S. meet the 50 percent GHG reduction target through bioinnovation. "As the world’s largest industrial biotechnology company, with bio-innovation operations from Copenhagen in Denmark, to Milwaukee in the U.S., Novozymes is proud to support this effort,” said Brian Brazeau, Novozymes’ president for North America. “We can harness the renewable potential of millions of acres of cropland, sequester GHG emissions, boost yields, and increase the production of renewable energy made from farm crops, such as corn or soybeans. With smart policy and smart science, the Biden Administration can raise the bar for nations around the world, but to do that, it is vital that biofuels are core in the U.S. strategy.”

Poet stressed the role rural America play in meeting climate goals. “Too often rural America is forgotten when it comes to climate change – both in terms of impacts and potential solutions,” said Joshua Shields, senior vice president of government affairs and communications at Poet. “Millions have been adversely impacted by unprecedented weather patterns which have destroyed crops, damaged infrastructure, and left many farm families on the brink of bankruptcy. Poet stands alongside the other businesses and investors who have signed onto this letter in urging the Administration to invest in a resilient, economically sound, climate-smart future for all Americans. As the world’s largest producer of biofuel and other bioproducts we are ready with solutions that are available today as we deploy every tool possible to ensure any solution to the climate challenge is a solution for all.”

A full copy of the letter can be downloaded from the We Mean Business Coalition website