New Delhi: India on Saturday launched the Global Biofuels Alliance with Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging the G20 nations to join the initiative with a plea to take ethanol blending with petrol globally to 20 per cent. The Alliance was launched on the sidelines of the G20 Summit by Modi along with a host of global leaders, including US President Joe Biden, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Bangadesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.
Besides India, the initiating members included Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Italy, Mauritius, South Africa, the UAE and the US, while Canada and Singapore are observer countries. Earlier while speaking at the G20 Summit session on ‘One Earth’, Prime Minister Modi also proposed launching the ‘G20 Satellite Mission for Environment and Climate Observation’ and urged leaders to commence work on the ‘Green Credit Initiative’.
“Today, the need of the hour is that all countries should work together in the field of fuel blending. Our proposal is to take an initiative at a global-level to take ethanol blending in petrol up to 20 per cent,” he said.
“Or alternatively, we could work on developing another blending mix for the greater global good, one that ensures a stable energy supply while also contributing to climate security,” Modi said at the session attended by US President Biden, Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak among others.
Prime Minister Modi said energy transition is a significant need of the 21st century world considering the challenge of climate change. He said trillions of dollars are required for an inclusive energy transition and that the developed countries play a very crucial role in this.
“Along with India, all the countries of the Global South are pleased that developed countries have taken a positive initiative this year, in 2023. Developed countries have expressed their willingness to fulfil their commitment of USD 100 billion for climate finance for the first time,” he said.
At the Copenhagen UN climate talks in 2009, developed countries had committed to providing USD 100 billion per year by 2020 to support developing countries in combating climate change. However, the wealthier nations failed repeatedly to fulfil this commitment.
The Global Biofuels Alliance, which the world’s third biggest oil consumer wants to push during its G20 presidency, mirrors the International Solar Alliance (ISA) piloted by New Delhi and Paris in 2015 to bring clean and affordable solar energy within the reach of all.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Modi in an exclusive interview told PTI that India’s proposal for a global alliance on biofuels among members of the Group of 20 major economies would help accelerate sustainable biofuels deployment in support of the global energy transition.
“Such alliances are aimed at creating options for developing countries to advance their energy transitions,” he had said. “Biofuels are also important from the perspective of a circular economy. Markets, trade, technology, and policy all aspects of international cooperation are crucial in creating such opportunities,” Modi had said.
Biofuel is a renewable source of energy which is derived from biomass. India, which imports over 85 per cent of its crude oil needs, is gradually building capacity to produce fuel from such items as crop stubble, plant waste, and municipal solid waste.
While India is on schedule to double the mixing of ethanol extracted from sugarcane and agriculture waste to 20 per cent with petrol by 2025, it is also setting up dozens of compressed biogas (CBG) plants.
The Global Biofuels Alliance is aimed at facilitating cooperation and intensifying the use of sustainable biofuels across sectors, including transportation.
Its focus is primarily on strengthening markets, facilitating global biofuel trade, developing concrete policy lesson-sharing and providing technical support for national biofuel programmes worldwide.
Such an initiative is also aimed at helping India’s transition to alternative fuels and cutting its import bill, as it seeks to achieve its net zero carbon emissions goal by 2070.
On the other hand, the ISA aims to mobilise more than USD 1,000 billion of investment needed by 2030 for the massive deployment of solar energy.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that global sustainable biofuel production would need to triple by 2030 to put the world’s energy system on track towards net-zero emissions by 2050.
Liquid biofuels provided more than four per cent of the total transport energy supply in 2022