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Study: Global Biofuels Reduce GHGs by 123.5 Million Tonnes

Reductions offset double the emissions from Denmark

Just in time for the critical climate talks now underway in Copenhagen, new data once again confirms the significant greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions from global biofuels production.

Prepared by (S&T)2 Consultants Inc., an internationally recognized energy and environmental consulting firm, the report demonstrates that world biofuels production in 2009 has reduced global GHG emissions by 123.5 million tonnes representing an average reduction of 57% compared to the emissions that would have occurred from the production and use of equal quantities of petroleum fuels.

“This landmark report proves yet again that biofuels production and use is already playing a vital, yet too often overlooked, role in reducing harmful GHG emissions around the globe,” said GRFA spokesperson Bliss Baker.

“In light of the ongoing United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, today’s report is evidence that biofuels are and must continue to be on the front line of the Climate Change fight,” declared Mr. Baker.

Of note, the report found:

— World biofuel production has surpassed 100 billion litres of annual
production in 2009. After accounting for energy contents, this is
displacing 1.15 million barrels of crude oil per day, which creates
approximately 215 million tonnes of GHG emissions annually.

— In 2009, world ethanol production of 73.7 billion litres is estimated to
reduce GHG emissions by 87.6 million tonnes – approximately the same as
the total GHG emissions reported for Austria in 2007.

— With respect to biodiesel, forecast global production of 16.4 billion
litres will reduce GHG emissions by 35.9 million tonnes – greater than
the GHG emissions reported for Croatia in 2007.

— The combined GHG emissions reduction from global ethanol and biodiesel
production of 123.5 million tonnes represents an average reduction of
57% compared to the emissions that would have occurred from the
production and use of equal quantities of petroleum fuels. This is equal
to the national GHG emissions of Belguim or Greece, or the combined
emissions of Monaco, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Latvia, Luxembourg,
Slovenia, Estonia, Lithuania and Croatia.

The study utilized a “life cycle assessment” (LCA) approach to estimate global GHG emissions reduction achieved through the production and use of biofuels from “cradle-to-grave”, including the acquisition of raw materials, manufacture, transport, use, maintenance and final disposal.

The full study, entitled GHG Emission Reductions from World Biofuel Production and Use, can be downloaded at Production data was compiled by FO Lichts. The report was commissioned by the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance.

The Global Renewable Fuels Alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting biofuels friendly policies internationally. Alliance members represent over 65% of the global biofuels production from 44 countries. Through the development of new technologies and best practices, the Alliance members are committed to producing renewable fuels with the smallest possible footprint.

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