Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a new biofuels initiative at the G-20 summit in New Delhi, India on Saturday, signaling a push for more green energy globally.
India will lead the Global Biofuels Alliance alongside the U.S. and Brazil, a move which is aimed to accelerate the shift to net zero emission targets by promoting plant and animal waste biofuels.
“The Alliance is focused on securing the supply of biofuels, ensuring these biofuels remain affordable and are produced sustainably,” the White House said in a statement.
Argentina, Italy, Mauritius, and the UAE also joined as members of the group, with Bangladesh and Singapore as observers.
“President Biden has made turning the tide towards a clean energy transition one of his Administration’s top priorities,” the White House said, pitching the initiative as a “partnership to make progress in our shared commitment to deploy cleaner, greener fuels around the world that help meet our decarbonization goals.”
Saturday marked the first day of G-20 summit meetings in New Delhi. In his opening statement, Modi announced that the group has invited the African Union as its 21st permanent member.
Biofuel technology, while encouraged by many governments, is controversial as some experts claim it is not as green as advertised. Especially in south and southeast Asia, some companies are producing biofuels using processes which still pollute the air significantly, The Associated Press reported.
“If you look at the full life cycle of producing biofuels, it’s many times not clean,” Lydia Powell, an energy policy analyst at the New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation told The AP.
“They were destroying natural forests to plant palm trees so you produce oil to export to Europe. When you destroy forests, you destroy large chunks of carbon sinks,” she said.
India, the world’s third largest consumer of oil, has made a commitment in recent years to drastically expand the country’s biofuel production and encourage biofuel use. India announced in 2018 that the country plans to build 12 new biofuel refineries in the coming years.
India has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2070, and targeted 2025 to mandate that 20 percent of gasoline be made of biofuels.
Source : The Hill