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COP21: Biofuels industry calls for 15% biofuel in global transport

The global biofuels industry is calling on the world leaders attending the COP21 summit in Paris to replace at least 15% of the global oil use in transport with biofuels by 2030.

The statement was issued by five biofuel and biotech organisations that represent over 330 companies who produce 90% of the world’s biofuel supply.

Global transport emissions have increased to cover 14% of the total global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and about 25% of the world’s energy-related CO2 emissions.

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says these growing transport emissions could be reduced by 15-40% through ‘aggressive and sustained’ policy measures, which would include replacing fossil fuels with renewables and biofuels.

Robert Wright, secretary-general of the European renewable ethanol association (ePURE), says biofuels are not ‘a silver bullet’ but they are one of the major technologies available to decarbonise transport.

‘Biofuels can be used in the existing vehicle fleet to immediately reduce emissions and are therefore a key part of the toolkit to reduce global transport emissions,’ Wright says.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) on its part says biofuels could provide 27% of the world’s transport fuel supply by 2050.

The use of biofuels to this extent would lead to an annual 2.1 gigatonne reduction in CO2 emissions, which translates to 23% total reduction of transport emissions.

According to the IEA, sustainable biofuels like ethanol can be used in the current vehicle fleet to reduce GHG emissions by 40-90% when compared with fossil fuels.