On Tuesday, the UN launched the report “Second genaration Biofuels Markets: State of Play, Trade and Developing Country Perspectives” by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
The purpose of the document, according to UNCTAD, is to promote new market opportunities for nations interested in developing advanced biofuels, one of the most effective tools in the fight against climate change.
The report concludes with five suggestions for the responsible development of the second-generation biofuels industry:
- Create regulatory frameworks for advanced bioenergy tailored to national circumstances, which do not necessarily focus on the type of supply but instead on existing local demands. The fulfilment of such regulations is likely to meet domestic development strategies in line with the SDGs.
- Promote cooperation between domestic organizations and foreign companies for joint ventures by means of investment agreements in order to facilitate technology transfer. This is important to avoid the emergence of a large technological gap between first-generation, land-intensive feedstocks and second-generation, capital-intensive biofuels in developed and developing countries.
- Consider the broader aspects of bioeconomy sectors, including biomaterials, in ways that avoid locking industrial development paths into specific sectors or technologies. This would provide flexibility for market players that operate biorefineries as they could target multiple markets, including materials, feed, food and energy – both domestic and internationally.
- Incorporate lessons from the sustainability criteria applied for first-generation biofuels into near and mid-term sustainability provisions or labels for advanced biofuels.
- Continuously promote technical dialogue among different production regions of advanced fuels in order to ensure compatible standards for feedstock and promote trade in advanced biofuels.