In a stunning move, the value of biogas for global decarbonization has been recognized by COP26 organizers. The WBA has beaten many other applicants to have a stand in the “inner circle” called the “Blue Zone” at COP26.
That bodes well for a high COP26 profile for anaerobic digestion and biogas and the truly beneficial “common sense” role that all biogas experts believe their (AD) process technology should rightfully assume in the fight against climate change. AD is particularly good at abating methane emissions. Scroll down to read the full ADBA Press Release below.
Advice to WBA Reps – Please Dispel these Objections to Biogas Industry Development as Perceived by the Public
The following are the top objections to developing biogas repeatedly voiced when biogas technology is mentioned:
- It is truly worrying and dangerous because it will mean AD plants multiply and they will take our food away from us. Ordinary people will go hungry. The same old energy companies (Shell, BP etc) will muscle in, buy up all the farms and grow even richer, making fuel only rich people can afford.
- It isn't needed because solar and wind are cheaper, less complicated, and someone will make a cheap battery that everyone will be able to buy very soon.
- It is inefficient/ and costs too much to ever help me.
- Biogas technology is heavily subsidized which means everyone pays more tax than necessary, and the subsidy money goes to wealthy farmers/ landowners and makes them richer.
- It's too smelly.
Those that know the biogas industry MUST TAKE GREAT CARE to counter these objections. The author's view is as follows:
- There is no intention to use food to any significant extent at all. Anaerobic digestion feed materials will always be waste materials, albeit food crop residues (leaves, stalks, stems etc) will be used. Where grass will be used it must only be used in wet cold locations incapable of growing much else of any value.
- The AD process is not a competitor with other renewable energy sources. It does a whole lot of things to make our world much more sustainable which no other process can do, and we need to use every tool available to slow climate change in the short time left. On the subject of cheap sustainable battery availability; how long have we been promised better batteries already!
- Efficiency is improving all the time as the industry develops and it benefits from ongoing research and innovation. As efficiency rises costs fall. That has happened in the wind and solar technologies which got started sooner, and (the relative newcomer) AD will be no different. Cost is relative, and as we write during a natural gas price crisis, biogas energy is now cheap, in comparison.
- Subsidies have been phased out and reduced in the UK. If not reduced elsewhere, handouts with little evidence of benefit, have been stopped.
- While there is a potential for biogas plant odour, well-run AD plants are not bad neighbours. Studies have shown that digestate spreading gives rise to less odour than manure, and the smell dissipates more rapidly.
Those representing the Anaerobic Digestion Industry need to address all these objections at COP26. If not, politicians will not be able to answer their voter's objections when they get home. The resolve of politicians will fail when the above doubts about the use of biogas are once again voiced by the public, and full support for the biogas industry will fail.
The author of this blog would even go as far as to say that the WBA/ ADBA should promote the idea that all governments should legislate as soon as possible to make the use of food crops for energy production illegal. Only then will all states be able to agree on the implementation of measures to fully develop the huge value of biogas for global decarbonization.
WBA Press Release 12 October 2021 STARTS:
World Biogas Association to highlight the value of the biogas industry at COP26
- The World Biogas Association (WBA) – accredited as Official Observers of the UNFCCC – will have access to the Blue Zone of COP26
- The UNFCCC has approved WBA's application to host an event in the Blue Zone in partnership with the Kenya Climate Change Working Group (KCCWG) on 10th November
- The joint WBA-KCCWG event will highlight the value of biogas technology in abating methane through the recycling of organic wastes and in helping countries achieve Paris Agreement targets.
Three weeks away from the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26), the World Biogas Association (WBA) is preparing to travel to Glasgow to represent the global biogas industry at the UN Climate Summit and demonstrate the value of the biogas industry in tackling climate change.
As Official Observers of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), WBA will not only be able to attend COP26 but also to access a restricted area – the Blue Zone – where the negotiations take place and where delegations from 197 Parties commit to more climate ambition in order to meet the Paris Agreement targets set at COP21 in 2015.
Additionally, the UNFCCC informed WBA on Sunday that its application to host an official side event in the Blue Zone was successful. Considering that the UN organisation had received an unprecedented 1,110 applications for 240 slots, this was a particularly satisfying outcome for the biogas industry, which is now clearly on their map.
In its application, submitted in partnership with the Kenya Climate Change Working Group (KCCWG), WBA highlighted the importance of tackling short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), in particular methane and black carbon, to achieve the Paris Agreement targets “to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5°C, compared to pre-industrial levels”. In line with the Global Methane Pledge issued recently by the US and EU, the joint WBA-KCCWG event taking place on 10th November will demonstrate the importance of recycling organic wastes to reduce the harmful methane and other greenhouse gas emissions they produce.
Value of Biogas for Decarbonization Recognized
Charlotte Morton, WBA Chief Executive, said:
“We are thrilled to be given this immensely valuable opportunity to demonstrate the importance of the biogas industry in addressing climate change, at what will be the most critical COP meeting since 2015.
In the last year, abating methane has become a focus for all of those involved in the fight against global warming, as highlighted by UNFCCC, IPCC, the IEA and other leading agencies. In Glasgow, WBA will be able to further raise awareness of the key role that our technology plays in tackling this potent, short-lived climate pollutant and the urgency of doing this by the end of the decade. We will also work to ensure all countries integrate biogas into their climate change strategies.
On an optimistic note, 50% of the Global Methane Pledge can be achieved by simply recycling all the organic wastes we humans generate through anaerobic digestion/biogas – a technology widely used today and capable of rapidly scaling up with the right policy and regulatory environment. That is what we at the WBA are aiming to achieve.”
As part of its participation in COP26, WBA has also signed up to the Race to Zero campaign to mobilise actors outside of national governments and build momentum around the shift to a decarbonised economy in the run-up to the UN Climate Summit.
– PR on the “value of biogas for decarbonization” ENDS –