With the right government policies, Canada could reduce five times more greenhouse gas emissions through biogas and Renewable Natural Gas (RNG). That’s according to a new study released today by the Canadian Biogas Association, based on new modelling by Navius Research.
Biogas & RNG projects currently reduce eight megatonnes of greenhouse gas pollution by making clean energy out of methane collected from landfills, agriculture and other organic waste. According to the study, that number will grow only 2.5 megatonnes by 2030 with existing policies. Meanwhile, a combination of new policies could deliver 26.7 megatonnes of emission reductions in 2030, meaning biogas & RNG could be instrumental for hitting Canada’s 2030 climate targets.
The 26.7 megatonnes of reductions would achieve more than one-half of Canada’s 2030 methane pledge, while also helping close the 66-megatonne gap to Canada’s overall 2030 target that was calculated by the environment commissioner last year.
The study also shows a potential 40 megatonne greenhouse gas reduction through biogas & RNG by 2050, five times current reductions, which gives biogas & RNG an important role in hitting the Government of Canada’s legislated target of net-zero emissions by 2050.
To achieve these bigger greenhouse gas reductions, the study says the Government of Canada needs to scale up two policies proving successful at the provincial level. The first is a countrywide renewable gas mandate, similar to what Québec and British Columbia have in place. A federal renewable gas mandate would require all suppliers of conventional natural gas to add renewably sourced gases to their mix.
The second policy is a carbon offsets system that rewards landfills and farms for voluntarily collecting and utilizing methane. Alberta and Québec have similar policies in place that the federal government could look to.
These are policies the federal government might consider as it prepares to announce updates to its climate strategy later this month.
“Right now Canada has 279 biogas & RNG producers doing good work destroying greenhouse gas emissions,” said Jennifer Green of the Canadian Biogas Association. “We now have a clear understanding of how to multiply that number, but it will take government leadership.”
To download the report, go to: www.biogasassociation.ca/climate