Biobased and Renewable Products Update
January 17, 2019
Environmental Groups Urge U.S. Representatives To Continue Push For A Green New Deal
On January 10, 2019, more than 600 environmental groups signed a letter submitted to U.S. Representatives urging them to consider certain principles on climate change as a Green New Deal is developed. As the 116th Congress begins to take into account climate change legislation, environmental groups would like to see affirmative actions focused on six key areas:
|■||Fossil fuel phase-out;|
|■||Transition into renewable energy;|
|■||The role of public transportation;|
|■||The power of the Clean Air Act (CAA);|
|■||Community-led transitions; and,|
|■||The importance of indigenous rights.|
Tying together these six concepts, the environmental groups’ letter highlights the role played by legislators and day-to-day community leaders/workers in integrating a 100 percent renewable energy system in the U.S. The suggested principles call for the expansion of public transportation as a means to phase out fossil fuel vehicles, as well as the prioritization of support for communities that have been historically most harmed by the dirty energy economy. In addition, a reference to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is made to emphasize Indigenous Peoples’ rights to receive remedies of losses or damages of their property. The signatory environmental groups also explicitly oppose rollbacks of existing environmental and human health protection policies, legislation that protects the fossil fuels industry, and policies that promote corporate profits over community burdens.
IRENA Publishes Report On The Growth Of Renewable Energy
In early January 2019, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) published a report called A New World: The Geopolitics of Energy Transformation. Analyzing the geopolitical implications of the global energy sector that is being driven by renewables, the report was created by the Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation in early 2018. A ten-month project, the deliberations by the Commission consider the move of renewables to the center of the global energy landscape. The report claims that global energy transformation driven by renewables “will reshape relations between states and lead to fundamental structural changes in economies and society. […] Global power structures and arrangements will change in many ways and the dynamics of relationships within states will also be transformed.” Arguing that power will become more decentralized and diffused, states that are heavily invested in renewable technologies (such as China) will have greater influence. In contrast, states that rely on fossil fuel to a greater extent will lose influence. Furthermore, the abilities for countries to achieve energy independence will enhance their development, security, sustainability, and equity. As an important step in the direction of addressing climate change, combatting pollution, and promoting prosperity and sustainable development, states must be prepared to create a foundation for dialogue, debate, and policy actions focused on energy transformation.
Nouryon Launches Imagine Chemistry Collaborative Innovation Challenge
On January 8, 2019, Nouryon, a Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) member, announced the official launching of the Imagine Chemistry challenge. A program focused on startups, scale-ups, university spin-offs, and other new comers in chemistry, the challenge aims to increase developing business’ opportunities to collaborate in the commercial adoption of green chemistry. In the 2019 edition of the challenge, Nouryon is seeking solutions to five areas:
|■||Sustainable bio-based surfactants for everyone;|
|■||Sensing in demanding chemical environments;|
|■||Performance-boosting nanoparticles; and,|
|■||Pushing frontiers of chemical innovation.|
Interested parties can submit their ideas online and receive expert feedback until March 8, 2019. In May 2019, 20 finalists will be selected for a three-day event at Nouryon’s research and development and innovation (RD&I) center in the Netherlands. These finalists will get an opportunity to work with experts and business leaders at the RD&I center to further develop their ideas into a joint value case.
DOE BETO Researchers Awarded
On January 10, 2019, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced that 32 of the 100 research and development (R&D) awards given out by R&D Magazine have been won by DOE researchers. One of the winning R&D projects was BETO-funded and focused on a green nitration process to produce acrylonitrile. These awards are annually distributed to developers of exceptional new products/processes introduced into the marketplace. Since R&D Magazine’s first annual competition in 1962, DOE’s national laboratories have received over 800 R&D awards.
DOE BETO Continues To Invest In Green Fuels Research
On January 15, 2019, DOE BETO announced that a current study being funded by DOE BETO’s Advanced Algal Systems has been published by scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The study researches strains found in a single culture of green algae that might be a candidate for biofuel production. Scientists are working to develop genetic engineering tools that would allow algae to grow faster, accumulating more biomass for biofuel. Further details on the research being conducted can be accesses here.
|■||The Fence Post, “Grassley Talks Shutdown, RFS, Trade, Trump Speech”|
|■||Reuters, “Biogas Guzzlers: Karachi’s Public Buses to Run on Cow Poo”|
|■||Biodiesel Magazine, “Biodiesel an Underutilized Solution as US Carbon Emissions Climb”|
|■||Reuters, “EPA Says it is Committed to Rule for Higher Ethanol Blend by Summer Driving Season”|
|■||Canadian Biomass Magazine, “Developing High Performance Bioplastics from Wood”|
|■||Channel NewsAsia, “NYP Team Turns Coffee Waste Into Fire Retardant”|
|■||Bio-Based WorldNews, “Circa Group’s Bio-based Solvent Aids UK Researchers to Produce ‘High Quality’ Graphene Ink”|
|■||Renewables Now, “France Raises Biofuel Blending Mandate for 2019”|
|■||Europe’s Plastic Processors Magazine, “Lund University Develops Promising Bioplastic Derived from ‘Poo Molecule’”|
|■||EurekAlert!, “VTT Develops a New Sustainable Way to Turn Forestry Waste Into Transport Fuels and Chemicals”|
|■||The National, “Saudi Energy Minister: Renewables Unlikely to Displace Global Demand for Oil”|
|ABOUT THE FIRM
The Biobased and Renewable Products Advocacy Group (BRAG®) helps members develop and bring to market their innovative biobased chemical products through insightful policy and regulatory advocacy. BRAG is managed by B&C® Consortia Management, L.L.C., an affiliate of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.
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Products Advocacy Group
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