G8 Leaders commit to adopt sustainability criteria and indicators as well as to agree on capacity building activities in GBEP

The recent G8 Summit held in Muskoka, Canada, renewed the Global Bioenergy Partnership’s mandate, calling for it to move forward in defining its sustainability criteria and indicators and work on capacity building.

In their final communiqué, the summit leaders said they recognised the potential of bioenergy for sustainable development, climate change mitigation and energy security. They added: “We welcome the work of the Global Bioenergy Partnership and commit to facilitating swift adoption of voluntary sustainability criteria and indicators, as well as on capacity building activities.”

GBEP was created four years ago based on an original mandate from the 2005 G8 Summit at Gleneagles, Scotland. Since then, the GBEP’s work has been endorsed by successive summits.

The GBEP’s report to the 2010 summit outlined how GBEP is actively working to advance bioenergy for sustainable development, climate change mitigation and food and energy security, for example through the work of its task forces on sustainability and greenhouse gas methodologies. In the coming year, GBEP intends to initiate work on facilitating capacity building and technology co-operation for sustainable bioenergy.

The success of the GBEP’s work is underscored by its continued growth. The initiative now counts 22 countries and 11 international organisations and institutions as Partners, plus 20 countries and eight organisations as observers.

The initiative is now looking to the G20 for future mandates as the G8 +5 is replaced by the wider grouping of the world’s 20 biggest economic powers and G8 discussions on environmental issues will flow into the G20 agenda. This is also desirable given that the G20 better reflects the composition of GBEP itself, encompassing both developed and developing countries. For this reason, GBEP is planning to submit an initial report on its sustainability criteria and indicators to the G20 Summit in South Korea in November.

Read the full text of the “GBEP Report to the G8 Muskoka Summit 2010” on the GBEP website.

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