Relevant stakeholders gather to discuss policy frameworks on sustainable bioeconomy and modern bioenergy

IEA Bioenergy ExCo 83 and Seminar on Sustainability Governance of Biomass

July, 29th, 2019

On May 23rd, 2019, a workshop on sustainability governance was held in the Netherlands, in the context of the Executive Committee meeting of the IEA Bioenergy Technology Collaboration Programme (TCP). The event was co-organized by the Biofuture Platform in partnership with the IEA Bioenergy TCP, IEA, FAO, IRENA, Below50, GBEP, and Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RvO) as the local host. Around 100 participants explored relevant sustainability governance frameworks, what may be missing, how cross-sector collaboration among policy, market actors and civil society could support a sustainable bioeconomy, and identified key messages.

First, sustainable bioeconomy, and especially modern bioenergy, can provide various co-benefits, such as increased diversity of energy supply; improved energy access; agricultural and rural development; improved waste management; and job creation. For this reason, in addition to climate change mitigation, the sector can play an important role in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and related Sustainable Development Goals.

Second, modern bioenergy needs to be globally and locally assessed and promoted in the context of – and in integration with – other renewable energy options and biomass end-uses, so as to maximize synergies and minimize trade-offs.

Third, clear and flexible policy frameworks, linked to demonstrating sustainability, can speed up the deployment of the most beneficial forms of bioenergy. Effective policy frameworks exist, but they need to cover a larger share of bioenergy consumption, both in terms of countries and end-uses. Sustainability governance schemes should entail a set of minimum criteria and science-based indicators to be applied to all biomass.

Lastly, improved understanding of the sector and benefits, and cooperation among stakeholders along the various stages of the bioeconomy/bioenergy supply chain is necessary.