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President’s Blog: After COP24 — onwards and upwards


The end of 2018 is coming, and we look back at what has happened this year as well as forward to the New Year and its challenges and opportunities.

Will we keep within 1.5C degrees?

COP24, the global climate change conference in Poland this December, has been an obvious reference point for the year because much of our industry depends upon there being a long-term, achievable and realistic series of goals to reduce GHG emissions. COP24 was a partial disappointment. “The art of the possible” (diplomacy) assured that a result could be announced with some relief, but as one delegate stated, “it is what is possible, not what is necessary.” While we now have the monitoring tools and criteria agreed (which believe me, is important as well as difficult to achieve), we do not have the commitments from countries that are enough to reach the emissions cuts targets and keep the Planet within 1.5C degrees warming by 2100. We are indeed heading for a 3.3C degrees warming. The IPCC report in September showed we have just about one decade in which to achieve the emissions cuts — with time running out, the discussions in Poland were almost surreal.


Nevertheless, the momentum towards cleaner energy is irreversible. Adoption of renewables is growing very rapidly, and this includes biogas to produce renewable heat and power. Wherever we visit around the world, biogas is on the radar of every administration, government and city. The growing concern over untreated wastes leaching into the environment (highlighted by the World Bank’s Solid Waste Management Report) and the solutions biogas can offer for the biodegradable fractions (highlighted by WBA’s report co-written with C40 Climate Cities Group) show we are on the right track. The new Resources and Waste Strategy published by the UK government this December, the new Waste Framework Directive approved in Europe in July – these and other policies point towards rapidly increasing volumes of food waste to treat.

Where next for WBA?

Over the next two years countries need to commit to supporting biogas infrastructure across waste, agriculture, sanitation, energy and transport in order to meet their respective nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement. To make this happen, WBA will be evermore active in 2019. We will be putting out more campaigns, events, meetings and reports to ensure these messages are transmitted loud and clear. And of course, we are grateful to all our members who renewed their annual membership — your support is essential for this global association to thrive.

Join us. We look forward to your participation and to meeting you in 2019.

David Newman, President
World Biogas Association


Save these dates in your diary now!

28th January, online
Webinar: Food Waste Management: an Implementation Guide to Cities
(Exclusively for WBA and SABIA members-only)

26th February, London
UK Parliamentary Reception: The role of biogas in achieving Paris Agreement targets
(Exclusively for WBA members-only)

7th-8th March, Pretoria, South Africa
Southern African Biogas Industry Association: 4th National Biogas Conference

9th-10th April, Oslo
7th Nordic Biogas Conference

3rd-4th May, Athens
WBA 1st International Biogas Conference

3rd-4th July, Birmingham, UK
The World Biogas Summit 2019
UK AD and World Biogas Expo 2019

…plus more to be announced soon.


Exciting developments for UK AD and World Biogas Expo 2019

Planning and preparations are well underway to deliver the best ever UK AD & World Biogas Expo at the NEC Birmingham on 3rd-4th July 2019, in what will be a pivotal year for the biogas industry.

The urgent need for countries to decarbonise their economies has put the spotlight on our sector as the baseload facilitator of a green future and hub of circular economy thinking. Whole new markets will be opening up worldwide for the supply chain, with global authorities keen to address fossil fuel and throwaway cultures.

Alongside the expo, the co-organisers UK AD and Bioresources Association (ADBA) and World Biogas Association (WBA) are also hosting a new thought-leadership forum, the World Biogas Summit, to elevate biogas on to the global stage and to scope the agenda of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. At the summit, WBA will launch a new report on the global market potential of biogas — to contribute, sponsor or get involved in the report, contactRoberta Bontempo.


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