RFA to COP26: Ethanol A Smart Choice Right Now For Decarbonization Goals

  • Thursday, 04 November 2021 08:54

Renewable Fuels Association

Oct 28, 2021

As leaders from around the world descend on Glasgow, Scotland for the 26th U.N. Climate Change Conference, also referred to as COP26, the Renewable Fuels Association reminds them that ethanol and other renewable fuels are available—today—to jumpstart global decarbonization efforts. A new  one-page fact sheet  released by RFA today spotlights recent research and data proving that ethanol is an immediate solution for cutting greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. 

“Ethanol already cuts carbon emissions in half compared to gasoline; with smart policy measures, ethanol can do even more,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “Ethanol can serve as a zero-emissions fuel for cars and trucks while also helping to decarbonize the aviation, marine, and stationary power generation sectors. That’s why our members  have unanimously committed  to achieving a net-zero carbon footprint by 2050 or sooner. We urge world leaders gathering for COP26 to take a closer look at ethanol and encourage them to include a prominent role for renewable liquid fuels in their national decarbonization plans.”

In  a July letter to President Biden,  RFA’s members pledged that ethanol will achieve a net-zero carbon footprint  by mid-century,  if not well before, as the supply chain adopts CCUS technologies; uses more renewable energy to power biorefineries; and expands carbon-efficient feedstock production practices.

At the same time, they noted it also requires simple action from Washington. To support the achievement of its goals, RFA encouraged the administration to move forward with several key policy initiatives: development of a national Clean Fuel Standard; deployment of more flex-fuel vehicles; and support for broad adoption of carbon capture, utilization and sequestration technologies.

Ethanol producers from across the country, from California to New York, have signed onto this pledge, Cooper noted, and it is featured in an ad campaign currently running in select Morning Consult email newsletters.

For more information, visit  EthanolRFA.org/pledge.

Recent Research on Ethanol and Carbon Emissions:

  • In January, scientists affiliated with Harvard, MIT, and Tufts University published an analysis finding that corn starch ethanol produced in the United States reduces GHG emissions by 32 to 62 percent compared to gasoline, with a central best estimate of 46 percent.
  • In February, Life Cycle Associates released a report showing that the use of ethanol and other biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard has reduced GHG emissions by  980 million metric tons  since 2008.
  • And in May, experts at the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory published a study demonstrating that average corn ethanol reduces GHG emissions by  44 to 52 percent  compared to gasoline, right in line with the findings from the January study.

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