The first working level members meeting of the Biofuture Platform took place in Abu Dhabi, at the IRENA Headquarters, on the sidelines of the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), on January 19th, and gathered representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Finland, France, India, Italy, Mozambique, Sweden, United States and Uruguay, who discussed upcoming activities, communications and next steps in promoting a positive agenda for advanced low carbon fuels, bioenergy, biochemicals and biomaterials.
International organizations were also present, including FAO, GBEP, IEA, IRENA and UNCTAD. The countries attending endorsed the proposal of preparing a vision statement to provide a strong signal to markets, investors, planners and policy makers about the relevance of promoting the deployment of advanced low carbon fuels, addressing climate change concerns and developing a thriving advanced bioeconomy.
The national focal points also discussed the preparation of a report on the state of the low-carbon bioeconomy, to which all member countries and multilateral partner organizations would contribute. Lastly, members also planned a series of focused policy debates on topics such as demand-creation policies, internalization of environmental benefits, investment risk mitigation and accelerating R&D for the low carbon bioeconomy. Ideas for linkages between initiatives such as Mission Innovation, CEM, GBEP, IEA Bioenergy, REN21 were considered positive for pursuing in the coming months.
IRENA´s Director-General, Adnan Z. Amin, received the delegates to the meeting with a welcoming address. In his statement, Mr. Amin stressed that analysis found that “among the 2030 renewables technologies, biomass is the most important source, accounting for half of the cost-effective potential for doubling the renewables share by 2030”.
To complete the pathway to limiting temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius or below, scenarios demand a six-fold increase in the use of bioenergy in the transport sector and a reinvigoration of bioenergy application in several forms, including advanced liquid biofuels for aviation, freight and shipping applications. Mr. Amin expressed confidence that “the Biofuture Platform has a key role to play as a pathway to a low-carbon bio-economy”, and asserted IRENA´s position to support and collaborate with the Biofuture initiative and governments in the effort to promote a sustainable energy transformation.
Further presentations from senior IRENA and IEA officers underscored the key message that reaching the scale and speed of bioeconomy deployment called for in all climate scenarios will require enhanced policy support, in order to enable industry expansion and deliver lower investment and production costs.
The meeting highlighted the Biofuture Platform´s unique position as a catalyzer of the collective will of its 20 founding countries, in a coalition of the like-minded, to raise the profile of low carbon bioeconomy solutions (including bioenergy, low carbon fuels and bioproducts) in the global agenda and promote an urgent dialogue on the best policies to close the gap between current rates of deployment and the necessary scale of investments to materialize the path to a low-temperature rise world, especially in transport and industry.