In the July 2005 Gleneagles Plan of Action, the G8 +5 (Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa)  agreed to "... promote the continued development and commercialisation of renewable energy by: [...] d) launching a Global Bioenergy Partnership to support wider, cost effective, biomass and biofuels deployment, particularly in developing countries where biomass use is prevalent".

Following a consultation process among the developing and developed countries, international agencies and the private sector, a White Paper  was prepared to guide Partnership activities. The Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP) was launched during the Ministerial Segment of the 14th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD14) in New York on 11 May 2006, with a signing ceremony of the Terms of Reference.

Brazil and USA have been elected Co-Chairs for the biennium 2021-202:
Co-Chair: Alex Giacomelli, Director General, Ministry of External Relations, Brazil;
Co-Chair: Emily Marthaler, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), USA.

On 18 January 2007, GBEP was registered as a CSD Partnership.

Since 2006 GBEP received renewed mandates by the G7/G8 and since 2013 also recognition and support by the G20. The recent G20 Hangzhou Summit stated: “IRENA, together with interested G20 members and other organizations, such as IEA Bioenergy, should support implementation of the Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP) sustainability indicators and other actions and tools for expanding modern, reliable and sustainable use of bioenergy”. (G20 Summit, Voluntary Action Plan on Renewable Energy, Hangzhou, China, 4-5 September 2016)

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