SE4ALL20 May 2015: A multi-stakeholder coalition has been launched, co-chaired by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN (FAO) and the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), to scale up the development and deployment of sustainable bioenergy solutions in order to meet global sustainable energy needs and contribute to the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) goals of doubling global renewable energy use and ensuring universal energy access by 2030.

The coalition, which was launched during the 2nd SE4ALL Forum, meeting in New York, US, from 18-21 May, aims to deliver environmentally, socially and economically sustainable bioenergy options, with a focus on emerging markets and rural communities in developing countries. It will also engage with national governments, civil society and the private sector to identify opportunities to further develop sustainable bioenergy, taking into account agricultural resources, sound environmental management, economic growth rates, energy and food security needs, financing mechanisms and policy frameworks.

Additionally, the initiative, titled ‘‘Sustainable Bioenergy High Impact Opportunity (HIO),’ will pursue knowledge enhancement and information sharing, policy and deployment support, and seek innovative ways to finance sustainable energy access and renewable fuels projects. In addition to FAO and RSB, other founding partners of the initiative include: Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Carbon War Room, KLM, Novozymes and the UN Foundation.

Kandeh Yumkella, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Chief Executive of SE4ALL, said that while sustainably managed bioenergy has the potential to provide viable alternatives to fossil fuels, it is not widely understood and is hindered by regulatory uncertainty and lack of finance. He said the coalition would “break through those barriers,” bringing the public and private sectors together to help sustainable biofuels contribute fully to the SE4ALL targets.

Melinda Kimble, UN Foundation, underscored that the Sustainable Bioenergy HIO is a way to advance biomass use. Ethan Zindler, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said the launch of the initiative is timely, as commercial scale next-generation projects are being commercialized for the first time. Arnaldo Vieira de Carvalho, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), explained that the initiative presents several competitive advantages in his region, given the adequate climate and availability of land, water, labor and technology.

Initiative partners have set up a Steering Committee, consisting of institutions and corporations with recognized leadership in sustainable bioenergy policy, technology and best business practices, which will provide guidance and oversee the HIO’s work. All types of bioenergy projects are being promoted, including: renewable biomass for clean cooking solutions; on-farm bioenergy production to boost agricultural yield and reduce post-harvest losses; distributed electricity production, using sustainable biomass from forestry and agriculture co-products; electricity and fuels from municipal solid waste; cellulosic ethanol for clean cooking and transportation; and sustainable aviation biofuels. [SE4ALL News Story] [IISD RS Coverage of the 2nd SE4ALL Forum]