Introduction: Global Biofuel Alliance
The Prime Minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi launched the Global Biofuel Alliance during the G20 Summit organised in New Delhi, India. India, during its presidency, led the way forward for a sustainable solution to the energy demand and supply problem and advocated the use of biofuel as a competitive alternative against fossil fuels. Apart from the launch of the Global Biofuel Alliance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also urged the international community to follow ethanol blending with petrol. It will sustain the resources and help us to smoothly shift to renewable energy resources. Let’s dive deep into the blog and understand how this alliance will contribute to bringing a change in global practices that will support the idea of sustainable development and help us fight climate change.
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G20 Summit 2023 - New Delhi, India
India was about to host the G20 Summit in 2021 but later schedules were readjusted and India’s presidency for the G20 Summit was finalised in December 2022 with a date in the third quarter of the subsequent year. On 9-10 September 2023. During the handover ceremony from Indonesia's President Joko Widodo, Indian Prime Minister Modi took the G20 presidency. India will hold this position until November 30, 2023. There are six agenda priorities for the 2023 G20 dialogue. The discussions shall be held on contemporary issues of international importance like green development, inclusive growth, technological transformation, and women-led development. During the event, the Global Biofuel Alliance was introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Global Biofuel Alliance (GBA)
During the G20 Summit held in New Delhi on 9th and 10th September 2023, various important issues were discussed by the international delegate including environment, health, social, economy, education and security. One of the major steps taken during the event was the Global Biofuel Alliance. The object of the alliance will be to encourage the use of biofuels on the international front. Not only this, but the Global Biofuel Alliance will also be acting as a central repository of knowledge for the Biofuels. On an international level, the alliance will be the hub of experts to deal with matters relating to biofuels and their usage as alternatives to fossil fuels. GBA will foster global collaboration for the advancement and widespread adoption of biofuels. With nine initial members, the Global Biofuel Alliance is getting the support of many more countries, international organisations and industries.
Members of GBA (Global Biofuel Alliance)
Initially, there were nine member countries in the Global Biofuel Alliance including the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Bangladesh, Italy, Mauritius, South Africa, UAE and India. After the launch, many more countries wished to join this initiative to bring biofuels into the mainstream and fight climate change by shifting to renewable energy wherever possible. So far, nineteen countries have joined the Global Biofuel Alliance (GBA) and twelve international organisations are part of it. It is expected that more nations may join hands with India to become a part of this vital initiative for a better and sustainable future.
What are Biofuels?
Biofuels are generated from renewable biological resources. These resources are easily available from agricultural waste because plants and algae can be processed to produce biofuel. The renewability of resources used in biofuel production makes them a better alternative to fossil fuels and this is why India is advocating on the international front to promote and anchorage the use of biofuels instead of traditional fossil fuels. Apart from agricultural waste, municipal solid waste may also be used for biofuel production. Biofuels are the solution to some of the problems often faced by solar, wind and other renewable energy sources.
How Biofuels Mitigate the Climate Change?
There are various reasons behind climate change and some of them are the following-
- Burning Coal, Oil, and Gas
- Livestock Farming
- Nitrogen Fertilisers
Large amounts of carbon dioxide are released during the consumption of fuel generated through traditional means. First, the gas emissions are borne by the environment during the production of this fuel and secondly, when they are consumed by the end consumer, the greenhouse gases are again emitted to the environment which is the major cause of climate change and global warming.
On the other hand, biofuels also release carbon dioxide during consumption but the reason they are able to fight climate change is that such carbon emissions are absorbed by the plant during its lifetime which means the overall carbon emission by the biofuels remains unaffected. This is the reason biofuels are considered the weapon to fight global warming and achieve the status of net zero carbon emissions. India has set its net zero target to 2070. The deliberations made during the G20 Summit of 2023 and the establishment of the Global Biofuel Alliance will contribute and assist not only India but the global community to make significant progress towards the target of net zero emissions.
Ethanol Blending - A Global Perspective
Prime Minister Narendra Modi requested the members of the GBA to increase the ethanol blending to twenty per cent. This is a significant move as the United States is the country producing the most ethanol in the world (55 per cent) and if nations come together and take the initiative to use ethanol blending with petroleum as well as increase the percentage to twenty per cent, it will relieve the burden and reliance on petroleum to some extent which will be of great help considering the climate change that is caused by the consumption of fossil fuels.
After the United States, the second biggest share in ethanol production is held by Brazil (27 per cent) while India’s ethanol production share is three per cent. The Global Biofuel Alliance will assist in the harmonious distribution of ethanol to further ensure the maximum application of ethanol blending with petroleum saving huge amounts of fossil fuels. India needs to boost its ethanol production for which many government schemes are also run by central and state governments throughout the country.
Objectives of Global Biofuel Alliance (GBA)
The member countries will get various advantages from the alliance as depicted below-
- Technological Advancements in Biofuels
The alliance will bring nations together for a common objective of developing better technologies to produce biofuels and implementing biofuel usage in various sectors to reduce reliance on non-renewable energy resources.
- Intensifying Utilisation of Sustainable Biofuels
The Global Biofuel Alliance will also help to find ways to utilise sustainable biofuels and intensify their usage on a global level. It will include the promotion of biofuels on the international dais and bring nations on board against climate change.
- Shaping Robust Standard Setting
To unify the quality of production across borders, robust standards are required. This will assist the import and export of the same and enable countries to demand-based distribution of standardised biofuels across the nations.
- Certification Relating to Biofuel Production
The Alliance will also assist in the establishment of agencies that will provide certification to the production plants and biofuel quality if they conform to the set standards. The certification will help the buyers assess the quality of fuels like ethanol and know about its origin.
To wrap this up, the Global Biofuel Alliance (GBA) was launched during the 2023 G20 Summit in New Delhi which is a significant step in addressing global energy challenges and fighting climate change. Led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India, along with nine other countries initially, now expanded to nineteen nations and twelve international organizations, is recommending biofuels as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional fuels. The GBA's mission includes improving biofuel production, efficient use, regulations, and certification. These efforts aim to reduce our reliance on polluting energy sources and promote global cooperation in combating climate change. Further, the call for increased ethanol blending in petroleum also supports this cleaner energy transition. With India and the GBA at the forefront, we are moving towards a more sustainable energy future, symbolizing hope and collaboration in addressing climate change.
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