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12.02.2020

European Bioeconomy Alliance Comments on European Climate Law Roadmap

The European Bioeconomy Alliance (EUBA), representing 12 leading European organisations in various sectors active in the bioeconomy, welcomes that the European Green Deal puts reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as a key priority. In this context and in view of the forthcoming Climate Law, the transition to a circular bioeconomy is a major opportunity to create competitive advantages for Europe and, as the updated EU Bioeconomy Strategy underlines “[a] sustainable European bioeconomy is necessary to build a carbon neutral future in line with the Climate objectives of the Paris Agreement”.

The bioeconomy is already worth more than €2 trillion annually and employs over 18 million Europeans. Given the right conditions and a stable investment and policy environment, the bioeconomy can help reduce reliance on resources of fossil origin, boost competitiveness and job creation, and contribute to policy goals and initiatives, including in the fields of climate and sustainability. EUBA agrees with the aim as outlined in the Climate Law Roadmap to ensure that that all sectors play their part, that all relevant policies should contribute to reaching the climate goals and that this amongst other things includes strengthening incentives for developing climate-friendly and sustainable practices, products and technologies.

The European Commission’s strategic long-term vision for 2050 “A Clean Planet for all” identified the bioeconomy as one of the seven strategic areas requiring joint action on the road to a climate neutral economy. In doing so, it sends a clear signal that Europe needs more than ever to boost its bioeconomy sectors if it wants the strategy to become a reality. The switch towards a circular bio-based economy, as pointed out in the Communication strategic building blocks, has the potential to play a leading role in pursuing climate ambitions of the EU.

Replacing finite materials with materials from renewable sources can help sustain material supply, keep natural resources in the economic cycle and minimise the extraction of finite raw materials. Also, as outlined in an OECD report “[…] the full climate change mitigation potential of biotechnology processes and bio-based products ranges from between 1 billion and 2.5 billion tons CO2 equivalent per year by 2030”. Instead of releasing historic carbon into the atmosphere through fossil fuel extraction and use, the carbon in bio-based products is the product of atmospheric CO2 and water. When this biomass is then used to make bio-based products, the atmospheric CO2 remains trapped in the products throughout their lifespan.

The bioeconomy encompasses the sustainable production of renewable biological resources from land and sea and their conversion into vital products and bioenergy with the help of innovative technologies. It can help deliver a more competitive, dynamic and sustainable European economy by valorising non-fossil carbon to substitute fossil-based raw materials and more carbon-intensive products and production processes.

Source: European Bioeconomy Alliance, Press Position, 12.02.2020

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