President’s blog: Putting biogas at the heart of sustainable development
World Biogas Association (WBA) President David Newman sets out why the time is ripe for a new thought-leadership event, the World Biogas Summit, and a ground-breaking report on the global potential of biogas
The shocking recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) leaves no doubt that urgent action is needed from governments, businesses, and citizens across the globe to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change.
Biogas technologies, which recycle organic wastes into renewable energy and soil-restoring natural fertiliser through anaerobic digestion (AD), can play a central role in tackling climate change and in helping to achieve the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
There’s enormous growth potential for these technologies right around the world, particularly in countries with poor existing facilities for managing wastes such as inedible food, sewage, and manures. But we need to act fast: the IPCC’s report tells us we only have 12 years to dramatically reduce emissions to a safe level, meaning that there’s a need for technologies such as AD to be rolled out very quickly and on a huge scale.
The timing could not be better, therefore, for the launch of the new World Biogas Summit, a major new international thought-leadership forum being jointly organised by WBA and the UK Anaerobic Digestion & Bioresources Association (ADBA). The Summit will seek to put AD and biogas at the very heart of global sustainable development, and will feature keynote presentations, panel discussions, and case studies involving leaders and expert speakers from the field of sustainable development. Up to 500 delegates are expected to attend from governments, municipalities, industry, academia, and international organisations from the UK and around the world.
This is a particularly crucial time for us to host this summit and showcase the impact our industry can have in providing solutions across multiple sectors. I’m very much looking forward to welcoming leading international figures to discuss how we can consolidate the growth of the industry and lower barriers to its rollout. In doing so, we will take a major step towards improving environmental and human wellbeing in every country in the world.
In addition to exploring the strategic role that biogas can play in the development of a sustainable global economy, the World Biogas Summit will feature the launch of a new WBA report on the potential of biogas technologies to significantly reduce global GHG emissions. We estimate that biogas has the potential to reduce emissions by up to 20% with sufficient investment in research and innovation.
The report will be the first to offer a global overview of the growth potential for biogas markets, as well as focusing on specific regions. We want this new report to be the go-to guide for investors, governments, and policymakers looking to reap the many economic and environmental benefits of biogas around the world.
The Summit will be co-located with UK AD and World Biogas Expo 2019, the largest international tradeshow dedicated to AD and biogas. We were delighted to announce earlier this year that award-winning creative agency Rapiergroup will help manage the Expo and Summit and give them a fresh new look.
WBA and ADBA are investing time and money into these flagship events to make them the largest and most international to date for the benefit of our members, the wider AD and biogas industry, and all those around the world looking for solutions to waste, energy, farming, transport, and sustainability challenges. We very much hope you’ll join us there to discuss how together we can put biogas in its rightful place: at the very heart of global sustainable development.