As the UK prepares to host a critical COP26 and Prime Minister Boris Johnson reflects on a “sobering” Sixth Assessment report by the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UK Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) has renewed its call to the British Government to urgently create a policy framework that will unlock the industry’s potential to reduce UK annual greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 6% by 2030 – and therefore play a vital role in mitigating the climate emergency within this decade.
“Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a mature, readily available technology which offers a fully circular and immediate solution to help address climate change in the short- as well as long term, by capturing methane-emitting organic wastes and transforming them into biogas (also known as biomethane), digestate (a biofertilizer), bioCO2 and other valuable bioproducts. Crucially, AD helps decarbonize carbon-intensive industries such as transport, heat and agriculture by producing alternatives to fossil-based fuels, gases and fertilizers,” said Charlotte Morton, ADBA’s Chief Executive.
“Our research has shown that there are 170 million tons of organic wastes generated every year in the UK, most of which is mismanaged (eg. sent to landfill, incineration, or spread onto land, where they emit harmful GHG, especially methane). If those organic wastes were treated through AD, the industry would be able to reduce those emissions by 3% upstream of the process and deliver another 3% cut in emissions downstream by displacing the fossil-based products currently used for transport, heating and farming,” she added.
“Trucks and buses currently generate 20% of the UK’s GHG emissions from transport, which is itself the highest GHG emitting sector in the UK with 27%. Biomethane could reduce these HGVs emissions by 38%. Municipalities and major retailers are already successfully using fleets of biomethane-powered vehicles to decarbonize their operations – so why would policy-makers not embrace this option and support its rapid deployment?” Morton explained.
“We are running out of time to avert a climate catastrophe and it’s time that the Prime Minister and his Cabinet put words into real action. The UK AD industry has already committed to delivering on its potential to support the UK’s efforts to reduce its GHG emissions. All we now await is a similar commitment from our politicians to make things happen – let alone present Britain, ahead of a vitally important COP26, as a true climate change mitigation champion, capable of influencing other countries into adopting AD in their decarbonization and Net Zero strategies. There is no Net Zero without biogas,” she concluded.