Sessions of BBEST 2020-21 / Biofuture Summit II Organized Virtually This Year
Brazil, Business News/Analysis, California, European Union (EU), India, Marketing/Markets and Sales, New York, Opinions, Oregon, Other Conferences/Events, Policy, Presentations, Sustainability, Washington
December 4, 2020
Print This Article Share it With Friends
by Nathália Fernandes Pimentel* (Advanced Biofuels USA) From 30th November to 3rd December this year, the BBEST / Biofuture Summit II was organized by Apex, the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency. The event took place on virtual platform Whova and was attended by several authorities, experts and researchers. Aiming at presenting innovations on bioenergy and bioeconomy, the occasion brought into light discussions on best practices, policies around the world and innovative research panels.
Among the authorities, high level executives from the Brazilian government, Apex, International Energy Agency (IEA) and academia were present in the Opening Ceremony. Thus, the event started with their speeches, which strengthened the promotion of a circular economy and also of cooperation between countries, such as a declaration by President of FAPESP Brazil, Marco Antonio Zago: “We see the conference as a special opportunity for dialogue and cooperation between countries, governments, organizations, the academic and private sector.”
The Opening Ceremony was followed by a mini policy forum that singled out the best policies for accelerating the bioeconomy in the US, Brazil and Europe.
Paolo Frankl, Head of the Renewable Energy Division in IEA, started the debate by presenting the policy blueprint study about policies in the above mentioned regions. Such research focused on the diverse policies solutions that can be developed to achieve the same result – transitioning towards a society based on bioeconomy.
After the presentation of Deputy Superintendent of Biofuels and Quality of Products of the Brazilian regulatory agency ANP, Daniele Silva Conde, the focus was aimed at the policies made in the US in order to achieve such goals.
Vice President of the Industrial and Environmental Section at Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), Stephanie Batchelor, introduced recent developments on American policies on bioeconomy, focusing on the importance of reducing transportation greenhouse gas emissions in the US. The presentation also revealed the negative reaction over the last years, when certifications such as Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) were being implemented. The hope is for the Biden administration to strengthen the RFS by pushing a federal Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), which would reduce the gap between rural and urban America, diminishing the power of the attacks from oil companies that advocate against biofuels. Beyond that, BIO continues to support the states’ initiatives on creating LCFS, such as was done by California and Oregon, as well as pursued by New York and Washington.
Afterwards, Sustainability Consultant for Ethanol Europe, Zoltán Szabó, introduced his critical view of the difficulty of real improvement in the European Union due to resistance to biofuels based on a perceived impact on food security. The speaker pointed out that it has already been proved that there is no correlation to one another, but still European authorities seem in doubt.
Last, Director of the Department of Biotechnology at the Ministry of Science and Technology of India, Dr. Sangita Kasture, presented the developments on Indian policy, focusing on efforts to reduce dependency on non-renewable energy’s source.
The conference also included asynchronous activities that were organized in August and September 2020 and were available for BBEST participants. Therefore, Webinar Series were organized discussing the policies on biofuture principles.
The first Webinar, entitled “The Biofuture Principles for post-Covid recovery: An Agenda for Brazil”, focused on Brazilian initiatives. The second, denominated “Building Back Better With Bio: Biofuture Principles for Post-Covid Recovery and Acceleration”, introduced the issue on a global level. The panels reinforced the Biofuture Platform, a coalition of 20 countries that seeks the implementation of actions related to bioeconomy worldwide. Thus, these debates also explained the need not only to develop policies on low carbon solutions, but also to maintain those already created.
Furthermore, researchers’ digital poster presentations brought innovative solutions on five topics: (A) “Biomass, Agronomy, Breeding, Other Energy Crops, Biotechnological Aspects of Plants Feedstocks”, with 42 presentations; (B) “Biofuel Technologies, including biomass process engineering and biofuels production”, with 55 posters; (C) “Biorefineries, Bio-based chemicals and biomaterials”, with 50 researches; (D) “Biofuel Engines and Applications to Aviation”, with 4 papers; and (E) “Sustainability, Environmental, Social, Economic and Public Policy Issues”, with 21 presentations.
The Closing Session completed the conference with awards for the nominated researchers in the following categories: Undergraduate, Master, Doctorate and Postdoctoral. Afterwards, Clarissa Forecchi, representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Brazil, reinforced the success of the event in adapting itself to the reality of the pandemic, with active participants and multiple accesses. In May 2021, sessions of the event will take place in São Paulo, Brazil.
* Undergraduate at Federal University of Goiás, with focus in International Relations. Intern at the European Union’s International Urban Cooperation Program in Latin America and the Caribbean (IUC-LAC)