A key finding of the report is that anaerobic digestion (AD) technology, which produces biogas from the treatment of wastes, can help reduce global GHG emissions by 3,290 to 4,360 Mt CO2 eq – this is equivalent to 10-13 percent of the world’s current greenhouse gas emissions. Biogas can be used as a fuel for transport and as energy for electricity and heat, whilst the residue left over from biogas generation, known as digestate or natural fertiliser, can replace 5-7 percent of inorganic fertiliser currently in use. This means it could fertilise 82 million hectares of land, equivalent to the combined arable land in Brazil and Indonesia.
Currently, only 2 percent of the feedstocks available are treated through AD. These include food waste, sewage waste, farm waste and crops, which can all be used to make biogas in every country. The potential for growth is therefore huge, and with it, the development of a major economic force that provides renewable energy and food security, manages waste, protects water bodies, restores soil health, improves air quality, promotes health and sanitation, and creates mass employment.
“The contribution that AD and biogas can make to protecting the environment, developing a sustainable circular economy and improving quality of life around the world is enormous” said David Newman, WBA President. “Our report calls on governments worldwide to prioritise policies which aims to maximise treatment of the waste streams, create the legal frameworks in which biogas can be implemented, and to act urgently. With just a decade in which we need to drastically cut GHG emissions, there is no time to lose. The biogas industry is here, now and ready to scale up.”