UK anaerobic digestion and biogas industry publish climate commitment

Photo by Romain Dancre on Unsplash

Trade body has published an Anaerobic Digestion (AD) and Biogas Industry Climate commitment to support 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.

Charlotte Morton, ADBA’s Chief Executive, commented: “The Climate Change Committee 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.”

The initial signatories to the UK AD and Biogas Industry Climate Declaration include Adapt Biogas, Emeritus Professor Keith Barnham from Imperial College London, Northumbrian Water Group, United Utilities

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, Department for Transport, 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 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 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.

The declaration can be read on the ADBA website.