Bioenergy for Sustainable Development

Jan 2017

This paper is the result of a collaboration involving IEA Bioenergy, IRENA and FAO. It originated from a joint workshop involving IEA Bioenergy, GSE, FAO and IRENA, which was held in Rome in May 2016 on the theme Mobilising sustainable bioenergy supply chains: opportunities for agriculture. Some key messages from the workshop and the paper include the following:

  • bioenergy can play an important and constructive role in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and implementing the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, thereby advancing climate goals, food security, better land use and sustainable energy for all.
  • there are several options for sustainable bioenergy expansion, including sustainable intensification and landscape planning, sustainable forest management, using waste and organic residues (respecting soil conditions), restoring degraded or marginal lands and reducing losses in the food chain.
  • multi-functional land uses can be promoted, also in developing countries, providing sufficient food and animal feed, as well as biomass for energy and other valuable bio-based products.
  • bioenergy is part of a larger bioeconomy. The attitude towards biomass production for food, bioenergy and other purposes should evolve from single end-use orientation to integrated production systems.