Green.org sat down with Corey Lavinsky, the head of the biofuels analytics team at S&P Global Platts, where he is an authority on biofuels law and policy, to learn about forecasting the global biofuels market.
Tell us a little bit about you and your background:
I am the head of the biofuels analytics team at S&P Global Commodity Insights. The biofuels industry has soared over the past decade as more countries pass laws requiring refiners to blend biofuels into their petroleum-based fuels. My team analyzes the global biofuels market for some of the world’s largest energy companies, providing them with insight and forecasts on pricing, supply/demand, trade, and policy. I have been an attorney for nearly 30 years. In 2018, I testified as an expert witness before the US House Committee on Energy & Commerce on the topic of Renewable Identification Numbers. I have also taught a Continuing Legal Education class on biofuels law and have been a chairman or speaker at dozens of seminars and conferences.
What is a fun fact about you?
I have a large collection of books on grammar and word usage. My favorite author is William Safire, who wrote a weekly column on language in New York Times Magazine from 1979 to 2009.
Why do you think climate change and sustainability is such an important topic today?
Many people believe that it is essential to tackle climate change immediately before any damage it causes becomes irretrievably worse. Others deny that climate change is real until it affects them personally. Reducing carbon emissions and air pollutants is undeniably healthier for humans and the environment and should be supported by everyone.
What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?
S&P Global Commodity Insights believes there will be a substantial displacement of gasoline-powered automobiles by electric vehicles, greatly reducing the demand for ethanol in road transportation. Biodiesel production will decline tremendously as more fats, oils and greases are diverted to the production of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). SAF use, which is negligible now, will be commonplace. Further, ethanol will be widely used to make SAF. Global mandates will result in increased use of biofuels, but many targets will be too ambitious to be met.
What can the average person do to make a difference?
People can cut back on emissions by reducing their use of motorized transportation. Other options include choosing to use vehicles with lower emissions than their current choice, or using fuel blended with a higher percentage of renewables. They can also support policies, practices and products designed for a healthier future.