CEM Biofuture Platform Initiative

The Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) Biofuture Platform Initiative was launched at CEM11 to lead global actions to accelerate development, scale-up, and deployment of sustainable bio-based alternatives to fossil-based fuels, chemicals, and materials. The Initiative, which is chaired by the U.S. Department of Energy and coordinated by the IEA, provides a forum for policy dialogue and collaboration among leading countries, organizations, academia, and the private sector. Partners include key organizations such as the IEA Bioenergy Technology Collaboration Programme (TCP), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP). Furthermore, it works closely with other CEM/MI initiatives including those focusing on Innovation, Biorefineries, Hydrogen and Carbon Capture.

The Biofuture Initiative evolved from the Biofuture Platform, a 22-country effort established in 2016 under the leadership of Brazil to accelerate the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon bioeconomy.

Strategic goals of the CEM Biofuture Platform Initiative are to

  1. Foster consensus on biomass sustainability, availability, and governance
  2. Promote policy best practices and convergence
  3. Enable supportive financing mechanisms
  4. Promote cooperation on policy, regulations, and technologies

The Expanded Bioeconomy

Bioenergy is the world’s largest source of renewable energy today. In most energy scenarios consistent with reduced GHG emissions, bioenergy plays a significantly expanded role. For instance, in the IEA Net Zero Emissions 2050 Roadmap modern bioenergy use rises three-fold by 2050, meeting almost 20% of total energy needs and becoming the second largest source of energy supply. It also plays critical roles in some hard to abate sectors like aviation to reach net zero. However, bioenergy should be considered only as a one component of a broader bioeconomy, where biobased feedstocks are used to produce high-value products that substitute for more carbon-intensive chemicals and materials, such as plastics, concrete, steel, and aluminum. In addition to reducing GHG emissions, an expanded bioeconomy provides opportunities to incentivize improved land management while helping nations achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Read the Bioenergy Essential Facts

CEM Biofuture Platform Initiative’s Activities

The CEM Biofuture Platform Initiative is developing activities to tackle some of the key barriers to the development of a sustainable bioeconomy. Current activities include

Biomass Quantification and Sustainability Governance

The mission of this workstream is to promote an evidence-based understanding of sustainable biomass production and use. Its desired outcomes are

  • Ensure appropriate roles for sustainable biomass to help achieve goals for net-zero, climate-smart energy, and sustainable development
  • Reduce sustainability risks for biomass production and utilization
  • Recognition that biomass is the foundation for more sustainable, circular economies

CEM Biofuture Campaign

The Biofuture Campaign enables joint work between Governments and Industry to realize the potential for sustainable bio-based fuels, chemicals, and materials to substitute for their fossil equivalents.

The growing Campaign membership consists of companies and industry associations investing in and driving the innovation needed for an inclusive clean energy transition and a net zero, circular economy.

The Biofuture Campaign supports the Biofuture Platform work on Biomass Quantification and Sustainability Governance and encourages the use of transparent and agreed upon carbon accounting methods to inform policies and to optimize GHG reductions from using bio-based products.

Policy Blueprint

The Policy Blueprint aims to provide countries with the methodologies, tools and practical guidance to evaluate and improve the impacts and effectiveness of their bioenergy and bioeconomy policies. The Blueprint is based on a quantitative and qualitative analysis of member countries’ policy portfolios. It aims to provide guidance on the essential elements of policy portfolios, along with good practice policy examples.

Read the Policy Blueprint methodology and country profiles

Additional workstreams are being developed, including the mobilisation of financing to facilitate large scale deployment.