The G20 leaders on Saturday launched the much-awaited Global Biofuel Alliance (GBA), a grouping of more than 30 countries and international institutions, to facilitate adoption of biofuels, thereby unlocking bioenergy access in emerging economies.

Interestingly, the “watershed moment” comes in a month marked by three important events on environment. September 7 marks the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies, International Day for the Preservation of Ozone Layer (September 16) and World Environment Health Day (September 26).

“The launch of 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,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said after launch of the India-led initiative.

Besides, the G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration also makes specific mention of the Presidency’s initiative of setting up a Global Biofuels Alliance.

“Recognise the importance of sustainable biofuels in our zero and low-emission development strategies, and note the setting up of a Global Biofuels Alliance,” the declaration said.

The GBA announcement showcases the action-oriented nature of India’s positive agenda as G20 President and representing the ‘Voice of the Global South’’, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas said.

Oil Minister H S Puri on X (formerly Twitter), said the world’s quest for cleaner and greener energy gains historic momentum.

“My sincere gratitude to HE @SecGranholm US Secretary of @ENERGY; HE @asilveiramg Energy Minister of Brazil; & Dr Evandro Gussi President & CEO of UNICA Brazil for germinating the seeds of forming Global Biofuels Alliance,” he tweeted.

GBA members

The GBA members include 19 countries and 12 international organisations. The G20 member countries supporting the alliance include Argentina, Brazil, Canada, India, Italy, South Africa and the US.

While the four G20 Invitee countries supporting GBA are Bangladesh, Singapore, Mauritius and the UAE. Similarly, the eight non-G20 countries are Iceland, Kenya, Guyana, Paraguay, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Uganda and Finland.

International organisations include the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, World Economic Forum, World LPG Organisation, International Energy Agency, International Energy Forum, International Renewable Energy Agency and World Biogas Association.

GBA Members constitute major producers and consumers of biofuels. USA (52 per cent), Brazil (30 per cent) and India (3 per cent), and contribute about 85 per cent share in production and about 81 per cent in consumption of ethanol.

The global ethanol market was valued at $99.06 billion in 2022 and is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 5.1% by 2032 and surpass $162.12 billion by 2032.

The alliance

GBA will support worldwide development and deployment of sustainable biofuels by offering capacity-building exercises across the value chain, technical support for national programs and promoting policy lessons-sharing.

It will facilitate mobilizing a virtual marketplace to assist industries, countries, ecosystem players and key stakeholders in mapping demand and supply, as well as connecting technology providers to end users.

It will also facilitate development, adoption and implementation of internationally recognized standards, codes, sustainability principles and regulations to incentivize biofuels adoption and trade.

The initiative will be beneficial for India at multiple fronts. GBA as a tangible outcome of the G20 presidency, will help strengthen India’s position globally.

Moreover, the alliance will focus on collaboration and will provide additional opportunities to Indian industries in the form of exporting technology and exporting equipment.

Domestic industry upbeat

Industry body CII’s Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said that GBA will unlock bioenergy access in emerging economies. CII sees unfolding of new business opportunities in the bio-energy sector through this alliance. This will also serve to a large extent the twin goals of low carbon energy and reduction in import dependency.

Vijay Nirani, managing director of TruaAlt Bioenergy, India’s largest ethanol producer and Asia’s largest biofuel company, said that GBA addresses three key priorities that are pivotal for the success of biofuels worldwide—identifying high-potential markets, accelerating technology deployment, and fostering consensus on sustainability frameworks.

Biofuels Junction Director Ashvin Patil said the partnership presents opportunities to bolster rural economies, combat environmental issues, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance air quality, augment farmer incomes, and fortify energy independence through sustainable practices and international cooperation.