Biogas sector spells out role in helping UK reach net-zero emissions

Almost 50 organisations have supported a declaration sent to the Prime Minister outlining how the biogas sector can support the net-zero ambition, provided clear and enabling policies are introduced.

Enabling policies could also support up to 60,000 new jobs in the sector

Enabling policies could also support up to 60,000 new jobs in the sector

The Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) has issued the UK AD and Biogas Industry Climate Declaration that commits the sector to making a significant contribution towards the UK’s net-zero target for 2050.

The declaration claims that the UK anaerobic digestion (AD) and biogas industry could reduce the UK's greenhouse gas emissions by 6% by 2030, as long as new policy measures are introduced.

Recommendations in the declaration include incentivising the use of biomethane in transport, most notably for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), using closed-loop approaches through AD hat turns local waste into local heat and power and establishing a material hierarchy for what is suitable for AD. Enabling policies could also support up to 60,000 new jobs.

A total of 48 organisations have signed the declaration, which was sent to Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday (24 June).

ADBA’s chief executive Charlotte Morton said: "We thank and congratulate the 48 signatories who have already come forward. ADBA will work with other industry stakeholders to encourage them to sign the Declaration and further demonstrate the industry's full commitment to helping decarbonise the UK economy - especially across hard-to-decarbonise sectors such as transport, heat and agriculture - and achieve the UK's climate change goals."

The launch of the declaration follows the Climate Change Committee’s (CCC) Progress Report to Parliament for 2021, which warns that the nation has “no coherent plan” to reduce emissions through to 2030.

The CCC acknowledges that Covid-19 has delayed progress on a host of new green policy packages but states that these must now all be published before COP26 this November. It warns that uncertainty over policy supports in the long-term, and even this decade, is leaving businesses, investors, local authorities and others from delivering their own climate commitments.

Under current policies, only 20% of the reduction in emissions that the UK has committed to by 2035 will be delivered, the CCC states, and emissions will rebound to pre-pandemic levels rapidly. The Biomass Strategy is still awaiting publication, alongside the Hydrogen Strategy, the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, the Nature Strategy, the National Food Strategy, the Net Zero Aviation Strategy and the final conclusion of the Treasury’s Net-Zero Review.

According to ADBA, AD alone can help address up to 30% of the shortfall in emissions that is currently hindering progress against the Fifth Carbon Budget.

Matt Mace



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