WBA news

2019 December 11

WBA urges policy makers to raise ambition and promote bioenergy policies worldwide

At the recently concluded UNFCCC COP25 climate change conference in Madrid, Spain, World Bioenergy Association (WBA) urged policy makers to seriously consider the messages from the scientific community, private sector and civil society in increasing ambition in their commitments to the Paris goals and to provide long term stable policies for deployment of bioenergy technologies around the world.

The press conference included a presentation on the global climate and energy challenge from Bharadwaj Kummamuru, Executive Director of World Bioenergy Association. He informed that the scientific community is unanimous in their message on the upward trend of global emissions and the negative impacts of global warming of above 1.5 degree Celsius. Recent commitments from the private sector and the mobilization of the civil society worldwide shows the increased concern due to perceived lack of action from the policy makers. He urged policy makers that the more we wait to take action the harder it would get to meet our climate goals.

The first intervention from the panel was from Remigijus Lapinskas, President, World Bioenergy Association. Remigijus informed that the global trends of emissions are in the wrong direction. He informed about the successful development of bioenergy globally and the opportunity it provides in decarbonizing the transport, heating and cooling sectors. Finally, he informed that the next big revolution in the bioenergy sector would be from the agricultural residues sector. Finally, Remigijus informed about the successful transition from natural gas to biomass in the heating sector which will cover almost 80% of the district heating in the country.

Heinz Kopetz, Senior Consultant of World Bioenergy Association who has been attending the COP’s since Cancun in 2009. Heinz informed about the success of bioenergy transition from fossil fuels in Austria. 15 years ago, Austria introduced strong bioenergy policy supporting the use of liquid biofuels and pellets in CHP plants which enabled renewables to grow to 30% share. However, the drop-in price of crude oil negatively impacted the further deployment of bioenergy and renewable energy technologies. The most important measure to increase renewable energy deployment is carbon pricing.

WBA member Oscar Espinosa Mijares, CEO of Pellet MX informed about the development of renewable and bioenergy market in Mexico. The country has immense potential in forestry and agriculture residue potential currently unexplored. The company already produces pellets from bamboo and rice husk and next year, the first industrial scale facility of 20 000 tonnes pellet production from mango seeds, avocado residue, maize straw etc.

Finally, Pablo Rodero from Bioenergy Association of Spain gave an overview about bioenergy development in the host country. In Spain, bioenergy in heating/cooling is developing quite well. The main message from the association is to be more ambitious in the climate and energy plans – especially in the heating sector where the targets are very low. One of the best options for increasing bioenergy deployment is introduction of carbon taxes.

The press conference is available on demand here: Link