Global Sustainable Bioenergy

September 14-16, 2010
Marquette Hotel, Minneapolis, MN
Hosted by the Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment, with significant funding support from the Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment (IREE), is pleased to have been the host of the fifth of five continental conventions of the Global Sustainable Bioenergy (GSB) Project. North American convention co-chairs were Jon Foley, director of the Institute on the Environment, and John Sheehan, scientific program coordinator for biofuels and the global environment at the Institute on the Environment / IREE.

Field and skyThe GSB Project is a collaborative effort involving universities and institutes around the world. The aim is to create a vision and path forward for bioenergy as a global resource. Today, there is a great deal of confusion about bioenergy—with questions being raised about how, and if, it is truly a part of a sustainable energy future. The GSB project tackled these questions using a three-stage process:

Stage 1: Conduct five continental conventions to establish continental perspectives on bioenergy. Recruit participants for full analysis of the vision and path forward for bioenergy.

Stage 2: Evaluate the working hypothesis that "it is physically possible for bioenergy to sustainably meet a substantial fraction of future demand for energy services (greater than 25 percent of global mobility or equivalent) while feeding humanity and meeting other needs from managed lands, preserving wildlife habitat, and maintaining environmental quality." In effect, establish the global vision for sustainable bioenergy.

Stage 3: Recommend the path forward based on an analysis of technical, economic, ethical, social and local issues.