The Chief Executive of the World Biogas Association (WBA), Charlotte Morton, has reiterated the need for biogas and anaerobic digestion (AD) to play a key role in attaining net zero targets.

In a post-COP26 statement, she stated that a raft of ‘piecemeal pledges’ and agreements were made during the event that would reduce global warming from the forecast 2.7C to 1.8C. 

“To many observers COP26 ended not with a bang but with a whimper, with the watering down of commitments to phase out coal,” she added. 

Arguably the most pertinent commitment was the Global Methane Pledge (GMP), an agreement made by countries to reduce methane emissions by 30% against 2020 levels by 2030. 

Considered the second most polluting greenhouse gas (GHG), methane has a 100-year global warming potential 28-34 times that of carbon dioxide CO2. 

Stating that AD is essential to delivering on the EU-US-lead GMP across farming, food waste and wastewater treatment, Morton added, “At its full potential treating the 105bn tonnes of organic wastes created by human activity, AD alone can deliver 50% of the pledge.” 

AD can also provide alternative, clean forms of energy such as biogas and its upgraded form of energy, biomethane, capable of replacing over a quarter of today’s global coal consumption in addition to providing fertiliser and bio-CO2. 

WBA is also set to help develop the biogas industry in East Africa, following a discussion with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a conglomerate of eight Eastern African Countries. 

Other organisations representing countries such as Canada, US, Italy, Kenya and Ghana have followed suit to unlock the potential of biogas development. 

“In the next months, we will focus on ensuring that the pledges and agreements of COP26 are mirrored by policies and investment in AD/biogas as one of the key technologies that will deliver the GHG emissions reduction we need to keep 1.5C alive,” she concluded.