Biogas’ contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals
UN Sustainable Development Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
UN Sustainable Development Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
How biogas contributes to the above goals:
Domestic fuel substitution: It is estimated that about 3 billion people worldwide rely on solid biomass fuels like dried dung cakes, firewood, crop residues, straw or other agricultural residues for heat and cooking (Berkeley Air Monitoring Group, 2015). The burden of collecting firewood and exposure to air pollutants from domestic cooking bears primarily upon women and children in developing countries. Introduction of anaerobic digestion and biogas as domestic fuel could have a very positive impact on the quality of rural life and indeed is already widely used in countries such as Bangladesh and India.
Indoor air pollution reduction: Approximately 4 million deaths and 110 million disability -adjusted life years have been attributed to the exposure to emissions from burning of solid biomass fuels domestically. The resultant emissions include black carbon, a short lived climate pollutant known to disrupt monsoons and accelerate melting of glaciers, thereby threatening water and food security of the masses (Climate and Clean Air Coalition, 2016). Burning of biogas instead of biomass can reduce the exposure of residents to a number of these pollutants, thus improving their health and wellbeing (Berkeley Air Monitoring Group, 2015).
Community development: Biogas can offer the community a unique opportunity of working together during construction of the plant, collection of feedstocks, their digestion and the subsequent distribution of benefits of digestion in the form of biogas, electricity and digestate biofertiliser.
Additional income stream: Anaerobic digestion can also be an opportunity for the household or the community to generate additional income by selling the excess biogas and digestate biofertiliser.