On Earth Day (21 April), weeks after re-integrating the US into the Paris Agreement fold, US President Joe Biden announced that his country was committing to reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by over 50% from 2005 levels by 2030. This sent a clear signal to the world that one of its biggest polluters was finally taking its responsibility in addressing the climate emergency.
A few days earlier, with the US ranking second behind China as the highest global GHG emitter, the World Biogas Association and the American Biogas Council had written to President Biden to highlight the importance of integrating biogas and anaerobic digestion (AD) into the US’ climate change strategy.
Our letter stated how “the US’s NDC of 2015 does not mention any biogas targets nor any commitment to make use of its renewable energy potential. It also omits the capacity of biogas to prevent methane emissions from organic wastes, capture CO2, improve soil health, and help sustainable farming“.
“Biogas constitutes a key solution to tackle methane emissions in agriculture while boosting rural development“, we continued, “It can also tackle GHG emissions from the transportation sector, a major contributor to climate change and one of the hardest to decarbonise industries.” We then urged the President “to include organic waste management and biogas in [the US] enhanced climate plans and NDC“. A link to WBA’s recent Biogas: Pathways to 2030 report was given in the letter to support the argument in comprehensive details.
The Earth Day 2021 announcement by the President of the United States marked a real transition between this and the previous administration’s position on addressing global warming. We hope that, as a result of this new attitude (or should we say a welcome return to the past one), President Biden will be receptive to our call to integrate biogas into the portfolio of solutions available to him to fulfill that commitment.
Time is running out and the US is showing welcome leadership in taking action. If the world is to succeed in reversing global warming, the biogas industry needs to be part of it – and President Joe Biden now can’t say he didn’t know.