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Biogas industry calls for ‘urgent rethink’ on new guidance

Over 50 global biogas and biomethane trade associations and companies have written to the World Resources Institute (WRI), administrator of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, suggesting an ‘urgent rethink’ on GHG Protocol guidance for corporate biomethane use reporting.

Prior to the introduction of the controversial new guidance, companies wanting to decarbonise their processes purchased biomethane certificates before reporting it as part of their Scope 1 emissions accounting.

This led to investment in new biomethane production infrastructure necessary for the reduction of emissions from organic wastes and the generation of green fuels but – according to trade bodies – this will no longer be an option under proposed new ‘Land Sector and Removals Guidance’.

This guidance is a supplement to the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard, which establishes the methodology for corporations to carry out inventories of GHG emissions in their operations and report on their use of green alternatives to fossil gas such as biomethane.

In a letter to Pankaj Bhatia, Global Director of the GHG Protocol at WRI, the World Biogas Association (WBA) and national trade bodies from across the world, including company stakeholders, requested the removal of Annexe B of the guidance and for the reinstatement of the existing guidance which enabled companies to purchase biomethane certificates as part of their Scope 1 reporting.

According to Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of the WBA, the proposed changes have the potential to ‘immediately halve investment’ in a renewable technology that may have the capacity to deliver on third of today’s global natural gas consumption.

She added that biomethane development and adoption could deliver half of the Global Methane Pledge and a 10% reduction in total GHG emissions.

“Alongside the many other signatories, we call on the WRI to remove the Annex and work with the sector to develop criteria to ensure that biomethane certificates evidence real decarbonisation.”

Under the new guidance, biomethane must be physically delivered to corporate consumers via dedicated pipelines or road transport, rather than via existing gas grids, leading to further CO2 emissions.