A grouping of more than 30 countries and multilateral institutions have joined hands to float the Global Biofuels Alliance (GBA) with the goal to hasten the use of biofuels to meet carbon neutrality targets.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the initiative on the first day of the G20 Summit in New Delhi.
“The launch marks a watershed moment in our quest towards sustainability and clean energy. I thank the member nations who have joined this Alliance,” Modi shared on ‘X’, formerly Twitter, on Saturday, while urging countries to join the group and set a global target of blending 20% ethanol with petrol.
So far, 19 countries and 12 international organizations have agreed to join the Alliance, which promises to open an avenue for developing and developed countries to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and decrease the expenditure on petroleum imports.
US President Joe Biden, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Mauritian President Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, and UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed were present for the launch on Saturday.
In February, India, Brazil, and the US had agreed to work together on forming GBA to boost trade, market access, and transportation of biofuel.
The alliance will boost the adoption of biofuels globally through technological advancements and by establishing strong standards and certifications. GBA will act as a knowledge and expert hub on sustainable fuels.
“The GBA is aligned with India’s goal of becoming a carbon-neutral country by 2070. The country imports more than 85% of its crude oil requirements, so it is looking to reduce its reliance on imported oil by producing biofuels from domestic sources,” Union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari said in an interview with NDTV.
“Using ethanol in petrol is a major achievement, and it will be especially helpful for farmers, who can now sell surplus crop to fuel stations,” Gadkari said, while adding that GBA is a win-win for Atmanirbhar Bharat, or self-reliant India, and will help curb air pollution, create jobs, and make India the leader in the production and use of biofuels.
Collaborating with global agencies, the alliance seeks synergy with existing initiatives in bioenergy and bioeconomy fields. Partnerships with platforms like the Clean Energy Ministerial Biofuture Platform and the Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP) are on the horizon.
A study by the Indian Biogas Association (IBA) said GBA will generate opportunities worth $500 billion in the next three years for G20 countries. However, it stipulates a foundational investment of $100 billion to kick-start the biofuel industry.
In the broader landscape of global energy initiatives, the newly launched GBA complements the efforts of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), which has been working to harness solar energy efficiently across countries lying between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. The ISA was launched by New Delhi and Paris in 2015 and has about 114 members.
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