Biofuels and Renewable Energy

The UNCTAD Biofuels Initiative was conceived in 2005 to offer a facilitating hub for programs already underway in a number of institutions, as well as to explore the complex field of bioenergy from a trade perspective.

By examining bioenergy markets, with its partners, UNCTAD seeks to add value by providing interested countries with access to sound economic and trade policy analysis, capacity building activities and consensus building tools. The Initiative tailors national strategies according to specific national circumstances and needs. It shares lessons from successful experiences, as well as illustrating problems encountered by developed and developing countries alike in dealing with the technical, political, economic and sustainability-related aspects of biofuels – and more recently, bioeconomy products and services.

ditc-ted-biofuels-quote1-300.jpgThe Biofuels Initiative is guided by Sustainable Development Goal 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) and Goal 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) and works closely with other international organizations, NGOs and academia, with the purpose of advancing discussions on current issues faced by countries interested in exploring bioenergy and biorefining. The Initiative, which is part of United Nations Energy and Sustainable Energy for All also works with the private sector, debating themes of relevance to trade, domestic use and policy design which directly or indirectly concern developing and least developed countries.

Between 2005 and 2016, the Initiative has produced a number of studies on key issues concerning the synergies among biofuels, trade and development. Thematic studies included assessments of global biofuel markets, technology options, sustainability certification, as well as a survey of south-south initiatives on biofuels cooperation. The Initiative also engaged in concrete capacity building initiatives, benefiting countries like Guatemala and Mexico.




 Meetings and Events

Start DateTitleLocationCountry
17-21 Nov 2008International Conference on Biofuels: Biofuels as a driving force of sustainable developmentSão Paulo
19 Jun 2007Ad hoc expert group meeting on Biofuels: Trade and Development Implications of Present and Emerging Technologies
22 Jun 2006UNCTAD Informal Seminar on the Biofuels Initiative
07 Dec 2005Side-event at UNFCCC COP-11 - BioFuels initiative: moving towards a sustainable energy futureMontreal
21 Jun 2005UNCTAD Launches Biofuels InitiativeParis
02 Jul 2014Bioenergy in the context of the SDGs at the African Carbon Forum 2014WindhoekNamibia
02 Jun 2015UNCTAD moderates panel at the General Assembly of the Roundtable on Sustainable BiomaterialsGenevaSwitzerland
19 Mar 2013Trends in Global Biofuels Markets: Sustainability Policy and TradeGenevaSwitzerland
27-31 May 2013Workshop on South-North-South Dissemination of Bioenergy Technologies and PracticesStockholmSweden
27-29 Oct 2015Beyond Biofuels: UNCTAD previews advanced bioenergy market study on opening panel of EFIB 2015BrusselsBelgium
15 Sep 2015UNCTAD speaks at the 5th International Conference on Lignocellulosic Ethanol BrusselsBelgium
24-26 Sep 2014UNCTAD to participate at World Bio Markets Brazil 2014Tivoli Sao PauloBrazil
19 Jun 2012Biofuels Side Event: No One-Size-Fits-All: Exploring New Sustainable and Socially Inclusive Biofuels Experiences in Developing and Least Developed CountriesRio de Janeiro, BrazilBrazil
04 Jul 2013UNCTAD Bioenergy session at the African Carbon Forum 2013AbidjanCôte d’Ivoire
19-20 Oct 2015UNCTAD discusses Bioenergy Finance at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) ConferenceBerlinGermany



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23 February 2016Advanced Biofuels Set to Play Key Role in Developing Countries
04 November 2014Biofuels remain an important and growing sector for developing countries, new UNCTAD report says
14 July 2013UNCTAD holds roundtable meeting on bioenergy at African Carbon Forum
19 March 2013Biofuels meeting discusses trends, policies to balance benefits with concerns for food security

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