Trade body publishes AD and Biogas Industry Climate commitment to supporting the UK’s efforts in achieving Net Zero
- Initiated by the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA), the UK AD and Biogas Industry Climate Declaration commits the sector to making the greatest possible contribution towards achieving the UK’s Net Zero targets.
- With the right policy support and fully deployed, the UK anaerobic digestion (AD) and biogas industry could reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by 6% by 2030.
- The Declaration lists key asks from the British Government to unlock the full potential of the UK AD and biogas sector, which will also create tens of thousands of jobs.
- It was sent to Prime Minister Boris Johnson today.
- The launch coincides with the Climate Change Committee‘s release of its Progress Report to Parliament 2021, which highlights a huge gap between Government ambition and policy reality. AD alone can make up 30% of the 5th Carbon Budget shortfall.
Today, ADBA submitted to the Prime Minister the UK Anaerobic Digestion (AD) and Biogas Industry Climate Declaration, whereby the industry commits to doing everything in its powers to deliver the greatest possible carbon reductions for the UK and thus support the country in achieving its Net Zero ambitions.
With this Declaration, the UK AD and biogas industry wants to send a clear message to the Prime Minister that it is ready to help the UK Government decarbonise the nation’s economy and meet its climate change targets, but that this will only be possible if his Cabinet creates a supportive policy environment and regulatory framework now.
In its 2019 report, Biomethane: The Pathway to 2030, ADBA established that the AD industry could cut annual UK emissions by 6% by 2030. However, to do so, it needs a coherent and supportive policy strategy across the various departments involved (BEIS, Defra, DfT, Treasury). The Declaration therefore defines what is required from government to unlock the industry’s full potential – fully deployed, the industry would also create 60,000 new jobs.
ADBA and the 48 signatories are calling for the British Government and authorities in cities, regions and nations of the UK to:
- Create an AD and green gas policy framework as soon as possible that brings together government departments’ work streams into a cohesive support strategy.
- Support AD in agriculture, through the introduction of a tariff premium for the treatment of manures and slurries through AD and a renewable biofertiliser obligation.
- Support the use of biomethane in transport, through its recognition as a leading low-carbon fuel to decarbonise HGV operations, and better incentives to promote investment in the development of new biomethane plants for transport and refuelling infrastructure.
- Support small businesses and community projects in developing a circular economy, using AD to transform local waste into local heat and power.
- Establish material hierarchies for all organic wastes with AD as the optimal recycling technology.
- Target innovation funding to support key aspects of the industry that would deliver a step change in performance, reducing or eliminating the need for financial support for the sector and improving its international competitiveness.
Charlotte Morton, ADBA’s Chief Executive, said: “The CCC has just published its Progress Report to Parliament , which highlights a huge gap between Government ambition and policy reality. The UK AD and biogas industry alone can make up 30% of shortfall required to meet the 5th Carbon Budget by 2030, including mitigating especially harmful methane emissions from organic wastes this decade. However, it can only do so if the British Government acts now. Doing so would enable the Prime Minister to show the leadership we need as host of COP26 to encourage all other countries to follow suit.
We thank and congratulate the 48 signatories who have already come forward. ADBA will work with other industry stakeholders to encourage them to sign the Declaration and further demonstrate the industry’s full commitment to helping decarbonise the UK economy – especially across hard-to-decarbonise sectors such as transport, heat and agriculture – and achieve the UK’s climate change goals.”
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Notes to Editors:
- The 48 initial signatories to the UK AD and Biogas Industry Climate Declaration are: Aardvark EM, AcrEnergy, Adapt Biogas, Agri Environmental Group, ALG Biogas, Alltech, Amur, Bennamann, Birch Solutions, Black Dog Biogas, Blackline Safety Europe, Brightlight Energy, CCm Technologies, Ceres Energy, CooperÖstlund, Earth Capital, Eco2, ECONWARD, Ekogea UK, Emeritus Professor Keith Barnham, Fisher German, Gegan Solutions, Greenlane Biogas, HoSt Bio-Energy UK, Landia (UK), Limelight Energy, Malaby Biogas, Marches Biogas, Merrivale Energy, Monostore, Northumbrian Water Group, Nova Q, OMEX Environmental, Privilege Finance, Rob Heap Consulting, Rockscape Energy, SLR Consulting, Sterling Pharma Solutions, SYSADVANCE, Target Renewables, United Utilities, Verdant Biotech, Warrens-Emerald Biogas, Wärtsilä Biogas Solutions, WASE, Wehrle Environmental, WELTEC BIOPOWER, QUBE Renewables.
- In producing this Declaration, ADBA emulates the World Biogas Association (WBA), of which ADBA is a founding member, and its leading corporate members. In 2019, WBA published the Biogas Industry Climate Change Commitment Declaration stating the global biogas industry’s commitment to cut global emissions by at least 10% by 2030 – subject to national governments putting in place the necessary policy and regulatory framework for the sector to fulfil this ambition. The WBA document was presented to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at COP25 in Madrid in November 2019.
- The Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) is the trade association for the UK anaerobic digestion (AD) and biogas industry. ADBA’s vision is to see the full potential of the UK AD industry realised so it can help the UK achieve its emissions targets and other policy goals, creating a truly circular economy. www.adbioresources.org
- About the AD industry
- There are currently 685 AD plants operational in the UK
- The entire industry digests approximately 46 million tonnes of organic material each year – organic material that would otherwise emit greenhouse gas if left untreated in landfill.
- An estimated 16 TWh of biogas is produced each year by the AD industry – this green gas is either used to generate electricity and heat via a combined heat and power (CHP) unit or upgraded to biomethane and injected directly into the national gas grid. This is enough to heat 1.3 million UK homes.
- The industry currently delivers 1% greenhouse gas savings in the UK every year.
- An estimated 4,800 people are currently employed in the AD and biogas industry in the UK.
- Fully deployed, by 2030, the UK AD and biogas industry expected to:
- create 30,000 direct and 30,000 indirect jobs
- save the UK 27m t of CO2 equivalent = taking 1/3rd of all cars off the road, by 2030.
- heat 6.4 million UK homes with the 8 billion m3 of biomethane generated
- How AD works
Anaerobic digestion (AD) is the natural breakdown of organic matter when deprived of oxygen in a container called digester. The process produces biogas and a residue called digestate, which can be used as a biofertiliser. The graphic below shows the applications of biogas and digestate and circularity of the AD process.