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WBA Parliamentary reception highlights benefits of biogas to global diplomats


The World Biogas Association (WBA), together with the UK Department for International Trade and the think-tank Policy Connect, hosted a reception last week in the UK’s House of Lords on the challenges and opportunities of climate change. The event was attended by diplomatic representatives from five continents alongside a number of WBA members and a range of high-profile speakers.

Diplomats from 24 countries around the world attended the reception: Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Czech Republic, El Salvador, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico,  The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Republic of Korea, Slovenia, Uruguay and Uzbekistan.

Speakers at the event were:

  • WBA President David Newman;
  • Joana Portugal Pereira, Senior Scientist on IPCC Working Group III;
  • Danny Dunne, Head of Renewable Energy at the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT);
  • Dr Jan Rapp, founder of Sweden’s Biogas Academy;
  • Dr Alan Whitehead MP, Shadow UK Minister for Climate and Energy; and
  • Lord Deben, Chairman of the UK’s Committee on Climate Change.


WBA President David Newman

WBA President David Newman set out the need for urgent political action and investment in anaerobic digestion (AD) and biogas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the globe and avoid the worst effects of climate change:

Biogas technologies are part of this energy and technology revolution […] Evidence from all around the world shows how biogas transforms lives – from contributing to the greening of the Sahel across the south of the Sahara to treating all the food waste of cities like Oslo, Copenhagen, and Milan […] We know we can do all this and biogas is probably the only industry that can offer all these solutions together.

Mr Newman also set out what is needed to scale up biogas around the world and highlighted that treating all biodegradable wastes can reduce global emissions by around 15%.

Ms Pereira confirmed that two chapters of the IPCC’s Special Report on Climate Change and Land Use, due to be published in November, will address the role of AD and biogas in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. Ms Pereira said that biogas is part of an “integrated solution” to tackling climate change.

Mr Dunne outlined how DIT can help the deployment of AD and biogas technology, explaining that DIT is currently campaigning in Latin America to promote the treatment of biowaste through AD and encourage deployment.

Dr Jan Rapp, Founder of the Swedish Biogas Academy

Dr Rapp described biogas as “globally applicable and doable”, and highlighted the growth of biomethane for transport in Europe. He also called for the industry to tell its story better so that people are aware of the role that biogas plays.

Dr Whitehead suggested that the UK is likely to set a target for net zero emissions by 2050 but is currently behind on its carbon budget targets, particularly in areas such as heat and transport. He called for more urgent action to move the UK to a low-carbon economy.

Lord Deben, Chair of the UK’s Committee on Climate Change

Lord Deben highlighted the importance of optimism and positivity in getting people on board with tackling climate change, which he said requires a level of effort and change that many people and politicians are not prepared for. He called on the biogas industry to ensure that it communicates in a clear way in order to help people understand the vital role of biogas.

The reception was a great opportunity for WBA members to meet global diplomats and other high-level representatives to discuss the potential for biogas in different parts of the world, and we were delighted to see such a good turnout.

What’s next? 

Join the global biogas industry and stakeholders at the WBA 1st International Biogas Conference on 3-4 May, 2019 in Athens, Greece. Click here to see the programme and to register:


And on 3-4 July, 2019, WBA is co-hosting the World Biogas Summit and the UK AD and World Biogas Expo. These industry-leading events are co-located at the Birmingham NEC in the UK. Click here to see programme and to register:

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