The Biofuture Platform, a twenty-country, multi-stakeholder initiative, announced the launch of a set of voluntary principles. These are intended to offer guidance to governments and policymakers around the world on the need to promote the sustainable bioeconomy in both short-term relief packages and broader post-COVID economic recovery programs. The principles have the support of the twenty Biofuture Platform member countries, and were developed following consultations with policymakers, industry experts and international organizations such as the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP).
One of the most labour-intensive energy industries, already employing around 3 million people worldwide, bioenergy is expected to play a key role in the decarbonization of the energy sector. However, it is also one of the sectors most affected by the COVID crisis. For example, earlier IEA analysis has estimated that transport biofuels production, expected to continue to grow before the crisis, could in fact decline as much as by 13% in 2020, the first decrease in output in two decades. At the same time, the IEA Sustainable Recovery plan shows that biofuels could be a very cost-effective way to create employment in the energy sector, as they have the second-largest number of jobs (15-30) created per million dollars of spending.
The Principles are non-binding and non-prescriptive, with member countries encouraged to implement them in accordance with broader sustainability initiatives and economic recovery programmes. A number of countries have already implemented or are considering new policies in line with the Principles.
More information about the principles can be read at the website of Biofuture.