PM may launch Global Biofuel Alliance at G20 meet on 9 Sep

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (PTI)


According to estimates from the International Energy Agency (IEA), global biofuel production would need to triple by 2030 to put the world’s energy systems on track toward net zero emissions by 2050.

NEW DELHI : Prime Minister Narendra Modi may launch the much-anticipated Global Biofuels Alliance on 9 September during the upcoming G20 summit, said two people aware of the development.

The marquee alliance with India, the US and Brazil as its founding members has received interest from 19 countries, from the G20 as well as outside it. The proposal for the alliance, however, has not seen a consensus among all G20 member countries, with China and oil producers Saudi Arabia and Russia deciding not to be part of it. With an eye on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec)-plus grouping—where both Saudi Arabia and Russia are members—the Indian-conceptualized alliance is being positioned as a global forum to help boost demand and technology transfer for the production of biofuels and to enhance trade.

India is also looking at increasing its biofuel production through varied sources in a bid to cut its import dependence for fuel at a time the ‘Opec+’ grouping has enforced successive production cuts.

Mint earlier reported about India working on a plan to allow biofuel exports and trading, as it sews together a compact for a global biofuels alliance. In 2018, India restricted the import and export of biofuels in a bid to increase domestic capacity. New Delhi, however, allows exports of biofuels under the Make in India programme by units located in special economic zones (SEZ) and export-oriented units (EoUs).

“Global Biofuels Alliance is expected to be launched by Prime Minister Modi on Saturday in the evening," said one of the two people cited above requesting anonymity.

Queries mailed to the spokespersons of the Prime Minister’s Office; ministries of external affairs, and petroleum and natural gas; G20 India Secretariat; and the embassies of the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia and China on Thursday morning remained unanswered at press time. The outcome document post the final G20 Energy Transitions Ministers’ Meeting held at Goa in July had said that member-countries recognize the potential opportunity of working together for further deployment and development of sustainable biofuels as one of the strategies for advancing the energy transition.

“We take note of the Presidency’s initiative to establish a ‘Global Biofuels Alliance’," the document had said in reference to India. It noted that member-countries intend to facilitate cooperation, on a voluntary basis, in intensifying the use of sustainable biofuels through strengthening collaboration between producers, consumers and interested countries, bolstering biofuel markets and encouraging the development of standards in the sector.

According to estimates from the International Energy Agency (IEA), global biofuel production would need to triple by 2030 to put the world’s energy systems on track toward net zero emissions by 2050.

In its ambitious energy transition journey, India has committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2070. India also has an ambitious biofuel roadmap. The government has advanced its target to achieve 20% ethanol blending in petrol by 2025-26 from an earlier target of 2030. The target of petrol supplies with 10% ethanol blending was achieved in June last year, ahead of the original schedule of November 2022. Being set up at par with the International Solar Alliance, the biofuel alliance’s focus is on accelerated adoption of biofuels, creating new biofuels, setting globally recognized standards, identifying global best practices, and ensuring industry participation.

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