India on September 9 announced the launch of the Global Biofuel Alliance and urged G-20 nations to join the initiative with a plea to take ethanol blending with petrol globally to 20%.
The Alliance was launched by Mr. Modi along with a host of global leaders including U.S. President Joe Biden, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit.
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Besides India, the initiating members include Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Italy, Mauritius, South Africa, the UAE and the U.S., while Canada and Singapore are observer countries.
“The launch of the Global Biofuels Alliance marks a watershed moment in our quest towards sustainability and clean energy. I thank the member nations who have joined this Alliance,” the Prime Minister said.
"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," Mr. Modi added.
Earlier, while speaking at the G-20 Summit session on 'One Earth', Mr. Modi also proposed launching the G-20 Satellite Mission for Environment and Climate Observation and urged leaders to commence work on the Green Credit Initiative.
“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,” Mr. Modi said at the session attended by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak among others. Mr. Modi said energy transition is a significant need for the 21st century world considering the challenge of climate change. He said trillions of dollars are required for an inclusive energy transition and that 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. Developed countries have expressed their willingness to fulfil their commitment of $100 billion for climate finance for the first time," he said..
According to a White House readout, Mr. Biden has made turning the tide towards a clean energy transition one of his Administration’s top priorities.
“Tackling the climate crisis requires global action, and while in New Delhi for the G-20 Leaders’ Summit, President Biden has continued to build innovative partnerships as part of a global effort to combat climate change,” it said.
The Alliance, the readout said, is focused on securing the supply of biofuels, ensuring these biofuels remain affordable and are produced sustainably.
"Founding members of the Alliance will continue outreach to other countries committed to these shared values with the goal of adding more countries to this effort," it said.
At the Copenhagen UN climate talks in 2009, developed countries committed to providing $ 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 G-20 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, Mr. Modi, had said that India's proposal for a global alliance on biofuels among G-20 members 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," Mr. 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 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 the country seeks to achieve its net-zero carbon emissions goal by 2070.
On the other hand, the ISA aims to mobilise more than $1,000 billion of investment needed by 2030 for the massive harnessing of solar energy.
The International Energy Agency 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.