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Development banks offer billions for sustainable transport

LUXEMBOURG: December 03, 2015. Eight multilateral development banks have pledged US$175 billion by 2022 to mitigate transport emissions. The sector accounts for about 60 percent of global oil consumption, 27 percent of all energy use, and 23 percent of world energy-related CO2 emissions.

In a joint statement the banks say they will provide more money for climate change adaption; increase their focus on low-carbon transport solutions; and develop a systematic approach to mainstream climate resilience in transport policies, plans and investments.

Luis Alberto Moreno, president of the Inter-American Development Bank noted: "We believe that climate change is a defining challenge of our time. Actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stabilize warming at 2 degrees Celsius will fall short if they do not include the transport sector."

The eight banks are the African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, CAF-Development Bank of Latin America, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, and the World Bank.

AC 787 runwayAccording to Enrique Garcia, president and CEO of CAF-Development Bank of Latin America, the region's engagement is critical given the high rate of motorization: "Latin America is suffering the most challenging impacts of climate effects; today not 2050 or 2100. Our countries, emerging economies, carry greater challenges and responsibility into building faster solutions [as we become] a larger player in emissions."

Laura Tuck, World Bank vice president for Sustainable Development added: "Transport must be a significant piece of the climate solution. We have the opportunity to transform transportation services so they are low-carbon and resilient to climate impacts. Now is the time to turn our commitments into action and we stand ready to work with countries as they develop low carbon and climate-resilient transport activities."

In a related move Boeing, Canada's University of British Columbia (UBC) and SkyNRG want to turn leftover branches, sawdust and other forest-industry waste into sustainable aviation biofuel.

The consortium, which also includes Air Canada, WestJet and Bombardier, will assess whether forest waste could also be harnessed to produce sustainable aviation biofuel using thermochemical processing.

A study by UBC has discovered that biofuel made from forest waste could meet 10 percent - about 46 million gallons - of British Columbia's annual jet fuel demand and save about one million tons of CO2 emissions per year.

SkyNRG, based in the Netherlands, has supplied biofuel to more than 20 carriers worldwide. Boeing has active biofuel projects in the U.S., Australia, Brazil, China, Europe, Middle East, South Africa and Southeast Asia.

Julie Felgar, Boeing Commercial Airplanes managing director of Environmental Strategy & Integration, commented: "Canada is in a terrific position to leverage its sustainable forests to make environmental progress for its aviation industry and other transport sectors."

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, using sustainably produced biofuel reduces lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions by 50 to 80 percent compared to conventional petroleum fuel.

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