The Role of Biomass in Achieving Net Zero

Supergen Bioenergy Hub, EBRI, Aston University

The Supergen Bioenergy Hub coordinated a joint response to the recent Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Call for Evidence on the role of biomass in achieving net zero. The evidence submission was developed in collaboration with three of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council Networks in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy (BBSRC NIBB): the Carbon Recycling Network, the Biomass Biorefinery Network, and the High Value Biorenewables Network.

The joint evidence submission considered the supply and use of biomass and highlighted the essential role we believe biomass will play in the transition to net zero, through bioenergy systems, the production of carbon-based chemicals and materials, and as a feedstock in negative emission technologies. The submission also stressed that any policy that is developed to deliver on the potential of biomass to support net zero should be informed by a consideration of the wider sustainability and societal impacts of biomass systems.

The responses to the BEIS Call for Evidence will support the development of the upcoming UK Biomass Strategy. It is crucial that this strategy lays out a pathway for the sustainable production and use of biomass, and positions the UK as a global leader in this area, a sentiment which echoes that expressed by the UK’s Climate Change Committee in their latest progress report. To enable this we must harness the academic expertise within the research community, therefore our evidence submission was collated by our newly appointed Biomass Policy Fellow, Joanna Sparks, who is working with the Supergen Bioenergy Hub and the three NIBB.

Joanna will provide an important connection between government policy makers and our academic experts, and her position provides a unique opportunity to bring together the wealth of expertise within our research community and present it in a consolidated way. We believe that this collaborative approach will afford impactful policy engagement, as well as developing capacity and capability for future policy engagement by the research community.

We will be continuing to engage with development of the UK Biomass Strategy over the coming months and within our evidence submission we highlighted several areas that we hope to expand on further, through targeted briefing papers or more in-depth research. Keep an eye out for opportunities to get involved in this work, and also for a series of blog posts that will be published on our website on the key messages from our call for evidence response and how they relate to the UK’s net zero ambitions.

The full submission can be found here.

Want to know more? Download the full report.

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