Yesterday in Brussels was the Bioeconomy Policy day, a day dedicated not only to announce the outcomes of the review on the bioeconomy strategy presented in a Staff Working Document, but also to discuss how to move the bioeconomy forward. The EU Bioeconomy Stakeholders Panel launched the European Bioeconomy Manifesto to set out how the continent plans to grow this mult-trillion euro industry.
EuropaBio, the European Association for Bioindustries, called for an ambitious revision of the European Bioeconomy Strategy. Such a revision would help tackle climate change and meet the needs of a growing population whilst boosting Europe’s resource efficiency, competitiveness and long-term economic growth.
“To achieve this, the revision must put in place a coherent and holistic policy and financial framework to support access to sustainably produced biomass, foster investments and further develop the market for bio-based products”, said Joanna Dupont Inglis, EuropaBio’s Director for Industrial Biotech and Cross-Sector Strategy and Chair of the Bioeconomy Stakeholders Panel.
Since the launch of the €3.7 billion Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking and the Investment Plan for Europe in 2014, there have been remarkable and inspiring advances in bio-based innovation. “Nevertheless – EuropaBio stated in a note – we are yet to see impactful progress on commercialisation of bio-based products. To overcome this hurdle and fulfil the bioeconomy’s potential for Europe’s competitiveness and growth, a revised EU Bioeconomy Strategy should address: Biomass: Circular bioeconomy should be an integral part of EU-level frameworks and policies; Investment: Increase funding and improve coherence of financing mechanisms for the circular bioeconomy; Investment: Secure the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) 2.0; Markets: Incentives for bio-based products in strategic sectors and promotion of bio-based products’ visibility to stimulate market demand”.
The industrial biotechnology industry in Europe is predicted to contribute between €57,5 billion and €99,5 billion and well above 1 million jobs to the EU economy by 2030.
Did they include agricultural biomass production? In an ideal world, people would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by consuming less meat and milk. Some of the land released could be unsuitable for food crop production, for example hilly and other marginal land. Should any of such land be used for biomass production, and how?