IEA shares recommendations for the Global Biofuel Alliance at G20 Energy Transitions Ministerial Meeting

Cover Of Biofuel Policy Report Sugarcane Plant Ethanol Production

New report on biofuel policy in Brazil, India and the US presented to ministers from around the world as governments seek to step up co-operation

The IEA recently presented key findings from its new report, Biofuel Policy in Brazil, India and the United States – Insights for the Global Biofuel Alliance, at a special meeting of government ministers convened at the G20 Energy Transitions Ministerial Meeting, which identified Fuels For the Future as a priority area.

The event in Goa, India, on 22 July was opened by India’s Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri. More than a dozen energy ministers participated, with representation from Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, India, Italy, Kenya, Mauritius, Paraguay, Seychelles, the United Arab Emirates, Uganda and the United States. The heads of nine international organisations also took part in the event.

The meeting included discussions on India’s proposed Global Biofuel Alliance, which seeks to accelerate sustainable biofuels deployment in support of the global energy transition. Participants acknowledged the critical role sustainable biofuels can play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The IEA estimates that global sustainable biofuels production would need to triple by 2030 to put the world’s energy system on track towards net zero emissions by 2050.

Liquid biofuels provided more than 4% of total transport energy supply in 2022, but their deployment is not accelerating fast enough. Moreover, more than 80% of total biofuel production occurs in just a few countries, despite vast unlocked potential in many parts of the world. Deployment is constrained by challenges such as the availability of the feedstock used to make biofuels, the lack of consensus on sustainability criteria, and the pace at which related technology has been commercialised.

The new IEA report is aimed at guiding the Alliance's efforts to expand biofuel adoption. It suggests that countries can expand sustainable biofuel production and usage by designing long-term strategies, fostering investment, supporting innovation, securing affordable supplies, addressing sustainability concerns promptly, and encouraging international collaboration.

The report outlines three priority areas for the Global Biofuel Alliance to facilitate sustainable deployment in support of the global energy transition:

1.   Identifying and helping develop markets with high potential for sustainable biofuels production.

2.   Accelerating technology deployment.

3.   Seeking consensus on performance-based sustainability assessments and frameworks.