On the heels of the recent data showing that global temperature rise has been accelerating at faster rates than were anticipated when negotiating the Paris Agreement during COP21, Bliss Baker, president of the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance (GFRA) is calling on G20 countries to take immediate climate action on reducing GHG emissions. The climate data was released by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and showed that the average global temperatures in the first six months of 2016 were already approaching 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The data contained indications that global CO2 levels will soon exceed the symbolic 400 parts-per-million concentration level. To curb climate change, scientists have said that temperatures can not rise more than 2 degrees Celsius.
“The ink on the Paris Agreement was barely dry before the foundation on which the negotiations were based had fundamentally shifted,” Baker said. “These changing circumstances should serve as a clear signal to the leaders of advanced economies that accelerated action to reduce CO2 emissions in the short and medium term is critical.”
According to GFRA, it is estimated that the transport sector accounts for approximately 25 percent of all energy-related global CO2 emissions at present while having the lowest renewable energy share of any sector. Additionally, emissions growth in the transport sector is the highest of all sectors, and is expected to increase by over one-third by 2030.
A recent report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) called REMap outlined the key role that biofuels will have to play in the transition to a low carbon global transport sector to 2030 and beyond. The report describes the potential to significantly scale up renewables in the global transport sector on a cost-efficient basis to 2030 by setting biofuels targets. It estimates that demand for liquid biofuels would quadruple to 500 billion litres within the next 15 years.
“Increased mandates for low-carbon transport fuel alternatives to crude oil like ethanol are a cost-effective and immediately available option to significantly reduce CO2 emissions,” Baker added. “In 2014 alone, global ethanol use in the transport sector reduced emissions by 160 million tonnes CO2 equivalent. Increased biofuel use represents huge potential for CO2 emission reductions in the transport sector that G20 nations must commit to in the short and medium term to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement.“