India has announced plans to launch a global biofuel alliance to encourage biofuel usage.
Speaking at the G20 summit in New Delhi, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the alliance, with the US and Brazil as its first members. The alliance aims to boost trade in biofuels created from sources including plant and animal waste.
India plans to build 12 new biofuel refineries to produce fuel from several different waste products. The country has been increasing the use of biofuels in its transport sector in the past few years, and recently brought its deadline for doubling ethanol blending in gasoline forward by five years to 2025.
The idea of the alliance was initially floated in July by India’s Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. In a tweet promoting the idea, he claimed that the alliance will “focus on facilitating cooperation with sharing of best practices & raising awareness on benefits of sustainable biofuels”. He added that: “It will also facilitate global biofuels trade, develop concrete policy on lesson-sharing & facilitate provision of technical support for national biofuels programs worldwide.”
Now, with the support of the two fellow founding members, the alliance has finally become a reality. Addressing the G20 leaders, Prime Minister Modi said: “We are launching the Global Biofuel Alliance. India invites all of you to join this initiative.”
It is unclear what exact action the alliance will take or how it will be funded. However, the US and India have been seen to be closely allied, following recent meetings in both India and the US. Following a state visit to the US by Prime Minister Modi, Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman noted that talks between US President Joe Biden and Modi had “enhanced the strength and dynamism of the partnership” between the two countries.
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The International Energy Agency (IEA) has estimated that global sustainable biofuels production needs to triple by 2030 if the world’s energy system is to hit net-zero emissions by 2050.