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A massive and sustainable scaleup of bioenergy is needed to help combat climate change. That is one of the key messages from the international conference 'The role of low carbon fuels in decarbonising transport: the emerging consensus from international initiatives', held in Brussels last week.
Editorial office / Brussels

The conference was a collaboration between the Biofuture Platform, the European Comission, IRENA, below50 and ART Fuels Forum, with the participation of IEA and FAO.

Vital component

Bioenergy is a vital component of efforts to decarbonise energy production and limit global temperature rise, the Biofuture Platform states. It is the largest renewable energy form in Europe and globally. Despite expected electrification of light vehicle fleets over the next several decades, large numbers of vehicles will still rely on petroleum fuels which biofuels and other low carbon transport fuels could displace. Aviation, marine and heavy freight transport ares difficult to electrify and will require the energy density that low carbon fuels can provide.

Feedstock is available

Large volumes of feedstock for biofuels can be provided sustainably, without impeding food production or releasing carbon through land-use change. A combination of smart agricultural practices, waste and residue policies, high-yield energy crops and the reclamation of degraded or fallow land can provide both the volumes and the high-quality carbon emissions reductions that the world needs.

To scale up bioenergy in a sustainable way, policy support and investments will be required, including evidence-based ways to reward the positive externalities offered by low carbon fuels, as well as specific support to reduce the costs of innovative conversion technologies at industrial scale, such as second generation plants.

European context

While global in nature, the conference focused on the European context and upcoming biofuels policy framework. European legislators and national representatives are debating the contours of the new targets and policies for the transportation sector and renewable energy, to be approved as part of the Renewable Energy Directive for the post 2020 period, RED II.