The industry wants companies to be able to purchase biomethane certificates and report this as part of their Scope 1 emissions accounting, as was previously the case.

By Joseph Murphy

More than 50 biogas and biomethane associations have called on the World Resources Institute (WRI) to rethink its position on the use of biomethane certificates for greenhouse gas reporting by corporate gas users under the guidance of the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol.

The GHG Protocol – the globally recognised leading GHG accounting standard – previously enabled corporates to purchase biomethane certificates and report this as part of their Scope 1 emissions accounting. In a letter to the WRI, the World Biogas Association (WBA) and other industry bodies argued that this spurred investment in the biomethane production infrastructure that will be vital for cutting methane emissions from organic wastes and generating green gas, biofertilisers and bio-CO2.

However, the WRI's new proposed guidance will make it no longer possible to use the certificates in this way. Instead, it requires the physical delivery of biomethane to corporate consumers via dedicated pipelines or road transport instead of via existing gas grids, "which is logistically and commercially unviable, and will lead to increased emissions," the industry bodies said.

“The proposed changes have the potential to immediately halve investment in a renewable technology that could deliver one third of today’s global natural gas consumption, half of the Global Methane Pledge and a 10% reduction in total global greenhouse gas emissions, as well as create millions of green jobs”, WBA CEO Charlotte Morton commented. “Alongside the many other signatories, we call on the WRI to remove the Annex and work with the sector to develop criteria to ensure that biomethane certificates evidence real decarbonisation.” 

Download Report