The World Biogas eFestival, organised last week by the World Biogas Association (WBA) to maintain the international dialogue amid global Covid-19 lockdowns, proved to be a great success with more than 300 participants joining the four-day online event from 48 countries around the world.

WBA has estimated that this has prevented a carbon footprint of 402 tonnes of CO2 emissions which would have been generated if a physical event had been held. This is the equivalent of planting 6,650 trees, saving emissions from using 930 barrels of oil or removing the annual emissions of 180 cars.

Delegates attended the virtual event from all world continents (bar Antarctica) to hear representatives from United Nations bodies, US Congress, the World Bank, the International Energy Agency, as well as industry leaders, sharing insights into the opportunities and challenges faced by the biogas industry as it grows on a global scale.  

Research by the WBA has shown that fully deployed, with the right support from world governments, the biogas industry could reduce global greenhouse gases emissions by 12% by 2030. This equates to the proportion of global emissions generated by the US in 2012.  

The sector would also create between 11 and 15 million jobs worldwide within that timescale, supporting a green economic recovery.

The content of the eFestival will feed into the WBA’s next report - Pathways to 2030 - which will draw a roadmap towards achieving the 12% objective. The report is scheduled for publication in the Autumn.

WBA President David Newman said, “The number and calibre of the people from all over the world who engaged in the discussions demonstrates the appetite there is for biogas to play its part not only in ensuring a green recovery from the global recession caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, but also in securing the long-term response to the climate emergency.”

“The content and expertise we gathered last week will be invaluable as we set the path towards realising our industry’s full potential. Moreover, the carbon footprint reduction we gained from hosting this event online has showed that it is possible to host truly international events whilst protecting the environment - something that we can be very proud of.”