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Challenges and Opportunities of Biofuels Discussed at COP18 Side Event

1 December 2012: The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) organized a side event on "Biofuels: Getting Rid of the Hype" in the context of the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 18) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Doha, Qatar, to discuss the role of biofuels in climate change mitigation and sustainable development.

The side-event, which took place on 1 December, fostered a discussion on the opportunities and challenges of biofuels. While some questioned the potential of biofuels to simultaneously contribute to providing sustainable energy, equitable development, and new investments, others highlighted the huge potential for emissions reductions via biofuels and their diverse applications across sectors. Participants also discussed: the importance of distinguishing between different types of biofuels; the need to take into account different capabilities and needs of countries; the role of diversifying energy sources; and trade-offs between efficiency and fairness, especially concerning small- and large-scale farming operations.

The event brought together representatives from: ICRAF; the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA); the Indonesian President's Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight; the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF); the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); and the Institute for International Trade Negotiations (ICONE). [IISD RS Coverage of the Side Event]