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2019 December 19

Promoting role of sustainable bioenergy at international climate talks

The longest COP ever ended in Madrid, Spain on Sunday, having extended for two more days than the planned twelve days. COP25 ended without an agreement on many key issues including financing, transparency, ambition, carbon markets etc. Since the Paris Agreement was signed 5 years back on 12th December 2014, the main challenge for negotiators at the COP was to come up with a rulebook to implement the Paris Agreement. Although minor agreements were reached during the event, the discussions and decisions were nowhere in sync with the demands from scientific community, civil society and the private sector.

WBA as the leading global bioenergy community was ever present at the COP by organizing events, press conferences, exhibit stands and interviews to inform and educate policy makers on the readiness of renewable energy technologies, especially bioenergy as a sustainable option for meeting Paris Goals.

Our activities at the COP include:

Exhibition Stand

Our exhibition stand in Hall 4 during 09 – 10 December 2019 was an excellent place for highlighting the role of bioenergy in the global energy mix. Delegates representing private sector, civil society and academia had an opportunity to discuss with WBA representatives on the important role of bioenergy. Printed copies of our official BIOENERGY magazine and Global Bioenergy Statistics reports were distributed at the event. We met with government delegates, fossil and renewable fuel businesses, scientists and researchers, students etc. and agreed to establish stronger cooperation in raising awareness about bioenergy in different parts of the world.

Press Conference

Two press conferences were organized by WBA during the COP25 climate conference on:

  • Climate friendly ethanol now fuels 100 million cars (05 December)
  • Bioenergy and its crucial role in global energy and climate goals (11 December)

WBA had representatives from the private sector and associations informing the delegates about bioenergy and biofuel developments from their respective regions. Both the events are available on demand at the UNFCCC website here: Ethanol (Link) & Bioenergy (Link)

Side Event

One of the strongest cooperation of WBA is with our REN Alliance partners which apart from WBA comprises of ISES (International Solar Energy Society), International Hydropower Association (IHA), World Wind Energy Association (WWEA) and International Geothermal Association (IGA). Together with our partner REN21, REN Alliance organized a side event on 10th December titled: Stronger Together: Showcasing success of renewable energy technologies working together. Panelists representing individual associations showcased the developments of renewable energy technologies including hydropower, geothermal, wind, solar and bioenergy which was followed by discussions between the panelists and the audience. The session was moderated by REN21 and the event is available on demand here (Link).


One of the major outcomes from our participation at COP climate conferences are an opportunity to meet with stakeholders from around the world. Important meetings were held during the COP25 including a meeting with representatives from Santa Fe, Argentina where we discussed the role of biofuels in decarbonizing the transport sector in the region. We attended meetings with representatives from BINGO (Business and Industry NGO Group), receptions organized by UNICA (Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association), Advantage Austria, Montreal International etc. We were also pleased to represent bioenergy at a session on 100% renewable energy organized by European Commission as part of the EU Energy Day.


Looking ahead, the next round of climate talks will be held next November in Glasgow, Scotland. During COP26, the policy makers have the challenge to resolve differences and agree on the rulebook at the same time as countries have to submit updated climate pledges. WBA as the leading bioenergy member organization will be ever present and represent the voice of the bioenergy community!