In response to the prodigious climate goals outlined at COP21, a new global organisation centered on biogas and its benefits has been launched at the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP22 in Marrakesh, Morocco.

The World Biogas Association (WBA) seeks to demonstrate the huge contribution that the biogas and anaerobic digestion (AD) industries can make to accelerate the COP21 goals and targets, and to facilitate the adoption of biogas technologies on a global scale.

The WBA’s President David Newman launched the trade association at COP22 with the overarching aim to adopt and grow biogas and AD technologies worldwide to maximise their contribution to the UNFCCC Commitments on Climate Change and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

If universally embraced, AD and biogas has the potential to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by around 20%, deliver flexible, storable baseload green gas and can fuel vehicles with alternative energy.

The UK’s Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) CEO Charlotte Morton said that the establishment of the WBA will “help showcase AD’s ability to meet a huge range of global challenges.”

She went on to comment, “Biogas is set to become a cheaper energy source than coal, and AD should become one of the leading technologies for mitigating climate change. The UK could be a global leader in what could become a £1 trillion ($1.24 trillion) biogas industry.”

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Varied energy

As the world calls out for more varied energy sources, renewable energies like biofuels and biogas are beginning to play a more prominent role. AD is a natural process whereby plant and animal materials (biomass) are broken down by micro-organisms in the absence of oxygen (O2).

The process of AD begins when biomass is put inside a sealed tank or digester, where naturally occurring micro-organisms digest the biomass and a methane-rich natural gas, or biogas, is released.

That biogas can then be used to generate renewable heat and power – which would gradually reduce both the use of fossil fuels and the release of greenhouse gas emissions, speeding up the climate objectives as agreed upon at COP21.

The WBA is appealing for companies, associations, universities, professionals and other organisations to join its global community and to demonstrate and deliver the value that AD and biogas can offer across industries.