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First World Biogas eFestival keeps vibrant international dialogue going whilst making a carbon saving equivalent to planting over 6.5K trees

The World Biogas eFestival, organised last week by the World Biogas Association (WBA) to maintain the international dialogue amid global Covid-19 lockdowns, proved to be a great success with over 300 participants joining the four-day online event from 48 countries around the world.

WBA has estimated that this has prevented a carbon footprint of 402 tonnes CO2e which would have been generated if a physical event had been held. This is the equivalent of planting 6,650 trees, saving emissions from using 930 barrels of oil or removing the annual emissions of 180 cars.

Delegates attended the virtual event from all world continents (bar Antarctica) to hear representatives from United Nations bodies, US Congress, the World Bank, the International Energy Agency, as well as industry leaders, sharing insights into the opportunities and challenges faced by the biogas industry as it grows on a global scale. Research by the WBA has shown that fully deployed, with the right support from world governments, the biogas industry could reduce global greenhouse gases emissions by 12% by 2030. This equates to the proportion of global emissions generated by the US in 2012. The sector would also create between 11 and 15 million jobs worldwide within that timescale, supporting a green economic recovery.

The content of the eFestival will feed into the WBA’s next report – Pathways to 2030 – which will draw a roadmap towards achieving the 12% objective. The report is scheduled for publication in the Autumn.

WBA President David Newman said: “We were delighted with the success of the first World Biogas eFestival. The number and calibre of the people from all over the world who engaged in the discussions demonstrates the appetite there is for biogas to play its part not only in ensuring a green recovery from the global recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but also in securing the long- term response to the climate emergency. The content and expertise we gathered last week will be invaluable as we set the path towards realising our industry’s full potential. Moreover, the carbon footprint reduction we gained from hosting this event online has showed that it is possible to host truly international events whilst protecting the environment – something that we can be very proud of.”

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For further information, contact:
Jocelyne Bia, email: ; tel: +44 (0)7910 878510

Notes to editors

  • Launched at COP22 in Marrakesh in 2016, the World Biogas Association is the global trade association for the biogas, landfill gas and anaerobic digestion (AD) sectors, and is dedicated to facilitating the adoption of biogas globally. It believes that the global adoption of biogas technologies is a multi-faceted opportunity to produce clean, renewable energy while resolving global issues related to development, public health and economic growth. @wbatweets
  • The industry’s ability to achieve 12% GHG emissions reduction by 2030 was established in the WBA’s Global Potential of Biogas report – highlighting the potential of AD as a technology to generate renewable energy, abate GHG emissions and recover organic nutrients and carbon for use on soil. The report also sets out the potential of AD to help meet the climate change targets under the Paris Agreement.
  • The carbon footprint saved by the eFestival was calculated as follows:
    • Emissions from theoretical international and domestic flights were estimated using BEIS (2019) conversion factors for average emissions (kgCO2e) per km of travel for an average passenger on either short- or long-haul flights.
    • For international travel, analysis was based on air travel and the distances between countries’ central points (e.g. centre of Australia to centre of UK, where a physical event would have been held). The analysis assumes that each attendee flies directly both to and from the UK. Distances were classified as short-haul for less than 2,750km and as long-haul for distances over than 2,750km, in line with the conversion factors’ methodology.
    • For domestic travel within the UK, the analysis was based on distances from countries’ central points to the Birmingham NEC. Again, BEIS (2019) conversion factors were used to estimate emissions (kgCO2e) per km of travel via theoretical car-travel to and from England, Scotland and Wales and domestic flights to and from Northern Ireland.
  • The estimated 11-15 million permanent jobs created by the biogas sector is based on direct and indirect jobs created per MW installed capacity, as estimated by NNFCC in their report “UK jobs in the bioenergy sector” (2013). The range of values represents the extent to which power-to-gas is integrated with AD plants to upgrade biogas to biomethane.
  • Countries represented at the World Biogas eFestival were:
    Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Columbia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, England, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Surinam, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the United States of America, Uruguay, Wales.
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