Canadian Biomass Magazine

World Bioenergy Association publishes new paper on responsible biomass use

April 21, 2023
By World Bioenergy Association

A new paper, Transparency, trust and best practice of responsible biomass use, published today by the World Bioenergy Association, explores the Glasgow Declaration on Sustainable Bioenergy, some of the nuances of our public debate on sustainability, and the importance of getting bioenergy right.

Bioenergy has a vital role to play in tackling the climate crisis, but only when it is done in a sustainable way. The International Energy Agency’s landmark Net Zero Emissions report calls for modern, sustainably-sourced bioenergy to meet almost 20% of global energy needs by 2050.

The bioenergy sector must therefore make it clear to all stakeholders, whether policymakers, regulators, the third sector, or the public that the sector is committed to high standards in every aspect of sustainability. The paper also acknowledges the need for precision in public debate, which it says has become polarized in some parts of the world.

The Glasgow Declaration on Sustainable Bioenergy, launched at COP26, set out 16 high-level sustainability principles for responsible biomass use. The aim of the principles is to create a simplified framework version of regulations and requirements needed in sustainable bioenergy, to enable a more nuanced debate about what makes the right conditions for sustainability through regulation, certification and best practice.


Industry players and stakeholders are now invited to use the Glasgow Declaration as a starting framework to discuss and develop sustainability best practice in a dialogue within and beyond the global industry. As the bioenergy sector expands, the paper states, we all have a responsibility to ensure sustainability is at the heart of any biomass use.

Christian Rakos, president of the World Bioenergy Association, said: “For bioenergy to contribute to climate change mitigation, it must be sustainable. That means working together to improve trust, understanding and best practice. Bioenergy is an essential tool for delivering net zero emissions, but only when delivered under the right conditions. As the bioenergy sector expands around the world, we have launched the Glasgow Declaration on Sustainable Bioenergy as a starting framework for advancing sustainability best practice and enabling a more nuanced debate on what those right conditions look like.”

Alan Knight, group director of sustainability for Drax, said: “Drax is committed to ensuring the biomass we source delivers positive outcomes for the climate, for nature and for the communities in which we operate. As part of this commitment, Drax is proud to support the Glasgow Declaration on Sustainable Bioenergy as a dialogue for improving understanding and best practice in biomass sourcing globally. We look forward to engaging further with stakeholders both within and outside of the industry with the aim of embedding the Declaration’s principles into meaningful and consistent standards and regulations around bioenergy use.“

Mihkel Jugaste, chief sustainability officer for Graanul Invest, said: “Sustainability is at the core of Graanul Invest’s approach to business and use of biomass. Bioenergy is key to tackling climate change but must be aligned with clear principles of transparency, compliance and best practice. The ongoing development of a global bioeconomy will be a key part of a transition to a sustainable future, but will require collaboration across a wide range of sectors.The Glasgow Declaration on Sustainable Bioenergy is an important initiative to drive and expand ambition on sustainability and best practice as we move towards a Net Zero world.”

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