Carbon Reductions On the Rise in 2021

With carbon reduction taking center stage, biodiesel and renewable diesel can provide immediate and substantial benefits, including 80% reduction in both greenhouse gases and particulate matter, an over 40% reduction in carbon monoxide, and more.
By The National Biodiesel Board | January 14, 2021

Biodiesel and renewable diesel are on the “Rise” in 2021. Our industry is on the cusp of a cultural shift in the way consumers think about their fuel. With a world desiring cleaner air, our industry anticipates a major transition from fossils fuels to clean energy sooner than we may have previously thought. We are entering a time when the environment and cleaner energy are finally taking their rightful place with consumers and policymakers, and we believe biodiesel and renewable diesel will play a huge role in this shift to lower carbon fuel.

Throughout 2020 the National Biodiesel Board has been vocal about our Vision to reach 6 billion gallons by 2030 and 15 billion gallons by 2050. We have not let up on that message and will continue to raise our voices in 2021.

This past year brought an additional wave of corporations announcing their commitments to carbon reduction. Major corporations including Amazon, Walmart, Ikea, Pepsi, McDonalds, and many others are setting aggressive carbon reduction goals. These goals will not just affect the operations of those corporations but also the operations of nearly all their suppliers. With a significant amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) tied to transportation activities, it is inevitable that the corporations and their suppliers will seek out cleaner transportation fuels, expanding the market for biodiesel and renewable diesel.

I remain bullish about our future because of the growing number of states that are taking it upon themselves to enact policies in the carbon reduction area. Just look at California’s aggressive climate goals. Currently, California is forging ahead with its ambitious low carbon fuel standard (LCFS).  This program, with a goal of 20% carbon reduction, has been in place for over 10 years and, to date, has helped California reach about a 7% reduction. Biomass-based diesel (BMBD) has been the biggest contributor to these reductions, currently making up nearly 45% of the credits generated. And, in gallons, it has been a remarkable story for our industry. Before the LCFS was enacted, BMBD was about a 14-million-gallon market. We believe 2020 may be the year that BMBD consumption in California reached 1 billion gallons.

BMBD’s contribution to carbon reduction in California suggests that as carbon policies around the country begin to take hold, we will see tremendous opportunities for growth for our industry. Our better, cleaner fuels can provide immediate and substantial air pollution benefits, including 80% reduction in both greenhouse gases and particulate matter, over 40% reduction in carbon monoxide, and significant reductions in other noxious pollutants, all of which are harmful to public health, particularly to vulnerable residents in poor and disadvantaged communities around the country. These immediate and substantial emission benefits can and should be an important part of any state, regional or national climate program, and part of an all-of-the-above strategy that facilitates decarbonization through advanced alternative fuels like biodiesel and renewable diesel.

My excitement for the industry is tied to the changing demands of consumers, policymakers, and corporations. Our industry will finally have a place at the table with answers to long-pondered problems. We are only beginning to see the sweeping policy changes at the state and federal level for biodiesel and renewable diesel. This transformation may not be easy, the market opportunities won’t just happen, it will take diligence and hard work.

I am positive that as an industry we must remain together and continue to speak with one voice. I look forward to 2021 and the growth I am confident we will see. We will rise to the top with better, cleaner fuel now.

Author: Donnell Rehagen
National Biodiesel Board

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