India makes clean energy push at G20 with global biofuel alliance

India hosts G20 leaders' summit

By Nidhi Verma

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India announced on Saturday the launch of a global biofuel alliance at a G20 summit in New Delhi to boost the use of cleaner fuels.

The alliance, with the United States and Brazil as its founding members, would help accelerate global efforts to meet net zero emissions targets by facilitating trade in biofuels derived from sources including plant and animal waste.

"We are launching the Global Biofuel Alliance. India invites all of you to join this initiative," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his remarks to leaders from the Group of 20 major economies at the summit.

The push for a biofuels alliance mirrors the International Solar Alliance launched by New Delhi and Paris in 2015 to bring clean and affordable solar energy within the reach of all.

The International Energy Agency estimates in a July report that global sustainable biofuels production would need to triple by 2030 to put the world's energy system on track towards net zero emissions by 2050.

India, the world's third-biggest oil importer and consumer, imports about 85% of its crude needs and is gradually building capacity to increase its output of biofuels.

India is targeting to become carbon neutral by 2070 and is expanding use of biofuel in its transport sector. It has advanced the deadline by 5 years to 2025 for doubling nationwide ethanol blending in gasoline to 20%.

The alliance will help by encouraging global biofuels trade, developing concrete policies on lesson-sharing and promoting provision of technical support for national biofuels programmes worldwide, Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said in July.

The South Asian nation plans to build 12 bio-refineries to produce fuel from items including crop stubble, plant waste and municipal solid waste.

(Reporting by Nidhi Verma, Writing by Shivam Patel; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Kim Coghill)