TORONTO, Canada — As the 12th Session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals is under way at the United Nations in New York City, the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance (GRFA) is encouraging participants to include specific targets for biofuels development as part of the UN’s goals. The GRFA reminded delegates that the use of sustainable biofuels as a replacement for crude based transportation fuels significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions and drives investment in agriculture.
“As participants continue to set new UN Development Goals for the next fifteen years they must keep in mind the positive affects that the global biofuels industry has on agriculture, the environment and the energy sector,” said Bliss Baker, spokesperson for the GRFA.
The global ethanol industry alone this year will produce 90.38 billion litres of ethanol which will help the environment by reducing green house gas (GHG) emissions by 106.4 million tonnes. This year’s production record will reduce global GHG emissions by over 291,000 tonnes per day. This is equal to 21,279,808 cars being removed from the world’s roads in 2014 OR removing more than all of the vehicles registered in Malaysia off the road annually.
“Global biofuel production and use leads to a more sustainable environment because ethanol use is the largest single contributor to GHG reductions in transportation and the only commercially available alternative to crude oil,” stated Mr. Baker.
The agriculture sector has also benefitted from biofuels production over the years as developing countries adopt biofuel-friendly policies. According to a recent publication of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO), “Increased agricultural productivity and output has ensured that the global supply of crops available for non-biofuel uses has continued to grow over the long term.” Additionally, for every tonne of cereals used for ethanol production, on average one-third re-enters the food chain as animal feed. The UN FAO confirmed this in its report Biofuels and the Sustainability Challenge, stating that “the by-products of biofuel production can be useful sources of food”.
“In short, the global biofuels industry has increased the amount of food available for human consumption and feed available to farmers for livestock around the world,” said Baker.
The creation of sustainable green jobs going forward has become a priority for Governments around the world. In 2012 the GRFA released a report that found that in 2010, global ethanol production supported nearly 1.4 million jobs in all sectors worldwide and contributed over $273 million to the global economy. A recent IRENA commissioned report confirmed that the global biofuels industry has grown, finding that in 2013, 1.45 million jobs were supported by the global liquid biofuels industry.
“It’s clear that because of the global biofuel industry’s ability to reduce our reliance on crude oil, reduce GHG emissions, increase agricultural productivity and create millions of jobs, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals post 2015 must encourage further growth of the global biofuels industry,” concluded Baker.
To learn more about biofuels around the world, visit the new GRFA website at www.globalrfa.org.
The Global Renewable Fuels Alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting biofuel friendly policies internationally. Alliance members represent over 65% of the global biofuels production from 44 countries. Through the development of new technologies and best practices, Alliance members are committed to producing renewable fuels with the smallest possible footprint.