MORE IS NEEDED TO EMBRACE THE BENEFITS OF THE BIOECONOMY
1 December 2022
MORE IS NEEDED TO EMBRACE THE BENEFITS OF THE BIOECONOMY
1 December 2022
Delivering on the European Green Deal’s objectives and ensuring food security requires a strong bioeconomy
Fit for the world in 2023 and beyond
The Covid-19 pandemic shook global supply chains as never before, stressing how interconnected the world really is. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has further destabilised and reorganised global supply chains and markets. Energy and fertiliser prices are hitting new records, food prices are going through the roof, and food insecurity contributes to hunger and instability in already vulnerable regions worldwide.
The transition to a more sustainable, resilient, and competitive economy that places nature and people at its core requires actions across many sectors. The bioeconomy has the potential to contribute to the European Green Deal transition as it encompasses all sectors involving the use of renewable resources from agriculture, forests, and seas, including residues and waste, to produce food, feed, materials and energy, without compromising biodiversity goals. It is by making this shift to bio-based products and processes that Europe will strengthen its resilience and reduce its dependency on fossil and non-renewable resources.
As a catalyst for systemic change, the bioeconomy helps achieve the economic, social, and environmental objectives of the European Green Deal. By seeking new ways of producing and using resources responsibly, it contributes to working within planetary boundaries and takes the EU closer to a circular economy that respects nature. Through a systemic approach to the sustainable use of biological resources, the circular bioeconomy is contributing to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
One of the tools to finance this change is the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), launched in 2014 to stimulate innovation and investments. The BBI JU private-public partnership had received a total of €2.6 billion of private investments by the end of 2021, leveraging €822 million in support from the EU. Since 2021, innovative bio-based projects continue to be supported by the successor of the BBI JU: the Circular Bio-based Europe JU (CBE JU), with a strong focus on the EU’s environmental goals and support to local economies.
Read more in the complete paper by clicking here.
This brochure aims to highlight on the ground projects and examples across the bioeconomy value chain. The projects are a collection of contributions from European Bioeconomy Alliance (EUBA) members showing in concrete ways how these sectors already contribute to the goals of various EU Strategies and its Green Agenda.
These projects outline technologies and solutions to use or reuse biobased materials and create alternatives to fossil-based ones, or to reduce and/or capture their CO2 emissions, supporting the transition away from a fossil- fuel based economy.
They are just the tip of the iceberg of the break-through potential that the bioeconomy holds in helping achieve EU sustainability goals.
Working towards a sustainable and circular bioeconomy: the European Bioeconomy Alliance welcomes the progress report on the EU Bioeconomy Strategy
The European Bioeconomy Alliance (EUBA), representing 13 leading European organisations in various sectors active in the bioeconomy, welcomes the European Commission progress report on the Bioeconomy Strategy published today.
Today’s report presents the state of play of the implementation of the 2018 Bioeconomy Strategy and general progress of the bioeconomy in Europe. EUBA welcomes the progress made on the implementation of the 2018 Bioeconomy Action Plan, including emphasis placed on the strengthening the role of substituting fossil-based products with renewable raw materials, products and fuels and scaling up the bio-based sectors through the launch of the new Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking.
The bioeconomy is one of the most successful examples of a European strategic file that has a significant contribution to achieve key EU objectives. It is already worth more than €2 trillion annually and employs close to 18 million Europeans, while offering huge potential to tackle societal challenges such as resource efficiency, climate change, biodiversity preservation, enhancing European sustainability and value creation.
As we move fully into the implementation phase of the EU’s new growth strategy, EUBA considers it important that the European Green Deal concretely supports the transition to a more sustainable circular bioeconomy. We appreciate that the progress report recognizes the contribution of the bioeconomy in the European policy context, where the Green Deal is at the heart. That said, the bioeconomy does need stronger backing in a range of policy areas and initiatives where coherence is needed to reinforce new investments in the sustainable bioeconomy.
We believe that Europe has the potential to define the very shape of the European model for bioeconomy for the decades to come. EUBA therefore calls upon policy makers to encourage further development of the bioeconomy sector through the EU Bioeconomy Strategy and the implementation of the EU Green Deal.
 The EU bioeconomy needs a stronger recognition via concrete actions and tools under the:
EUBA considers the LCA methodology, as presented by the JRC, not fit for the purpose of comparing bio-based with conventional fossil-based plastics. We urge the Commission to stop the wider dissemination or application of this LCA and to start a new review of the LCA methodology. Otherwise, it will adversely affect EU progress in the field of sustainable and renewable climate neutral materials.
The final methodology for life cycle assessment (LCA) of alternative feedstock for plastics production clearly and structurally favours fossil-based over bio-based plastics, and so undermines many of the deliverables set out by the European Green Deal. This is wildly at odds with the EU’s commitment towards reducing dependency on fossil-carbon and to becoming climate neutral by 2050. It also jeopardises the potential of innovation in bio-based products.
Download the position for more information.
Despite improvement, more changes are needed to allow European bioeconomy to be part of the solution towards climate neutrality
The EUBA takes note of the revised draft Delegated Act on climate-related objectives that was presented to the Member States’ Expert Group on Sustainable Finance on 24 March. While we recognise that the revised Delegated Act’s Annex I has made improvements in certain activities, we consider that further modifications are still needed to fully enable EU bioeconomy supply chains and their outlets to contribute successfully towards climate change mitigation and adaptation and ultimately towards the EU’s goal of climate neutrality. These modifications are needed because the Delegated Act still fails to recognise existing sustainable practices under the Renewable Energy Directive as sustainable...
The European Commission's Circular Economy Action Plan sets important ambitions for reducing consumption by making products more renewable, reusable and recyclable throughout their whole lifecycle – ambitions that cannot easily be achieved without taking full advantage of Europe's bioeconomy. In this paper, the European Bioeconomy Alliance (EUBA), which represents a wide variety of primary producers, processors and technology providers, highlights the significance of its sectors in contributing bioeconomy solutions for this essential transition to a circular economy.
EUBA members have written a joint letter to the European Commission on the EU Taxonomy Regulation’s draft delegated act on climate-related objectives and its annexes. "We write to express our deep concern regarding the recently published draft delegated act on technical screening criteria, determining under which conditions an economic activity qualifies as contributing substantially to climate change mitigation and adaptation. We perceive that these criteria pose a serious threat to future innovation and investment in the EU’s bioeconomy and to its valuable role both in climate change mitigation and adaptation, and within the circular economy.," the letter states.
Read the full letter here.
Read EUBA's response to the public consultation on Sustainable finance – EU classification system for green investments here.
EUBA members have written a joint letter to Member State authorities on the EU Taxonomy Regulation’s draft delegated act on climate-related objectives and its annexes. "We believe that the Commission’s publication of the first draft delegated act and its annexes supplementing Regulation 2020/852 establishing a framework to facilitate sustainable investments poses a serious threat to these sectors and to their ability to contribute towards climate change mitigation and adaptation," the letter states.
Read the full letter here.
Three organisations representing various sectors active in packaging and the bioeconomy (ACE, EUBA and CITPA) published a joint statement in support of an ambitious Climate Law that recognizes the role of sustainable low carbon and circular materials, such as renewable materials, in achieving climate neutrality.
The ambitious European Commission strategy to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the EU and achieve climate neutrality by 2050 has recently been set in motion as the European Green Deal. The European Bioeconomy Alliance (EUBA), representing twelve organisations in various sectors active in the bioeconomy, welcomes such a comprehensive policy tool that should ensure alignment and coherence between the different initiatives that are part of the Deal.
Download and read our full position here:
The European Bioeconomy Alliance, representing 12 leading European organisations in various sectors active in the bioeconomy, has responded to the European Commission’s public consultation on the roadmap of the forthcoming EU 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”.
To read the EUBA’s contribution, click below.
The European Bioeconomy Alliance, representing 12 leading European organisations in various sectors active in the bioeconomy, welcomes the Council Conclusions on the updated Bioeconomy Strategy “A sustainable Bioeconomy for Europe: strengthening the connection between economy, society and the environment”, adopted by the Competitiveness Council on 29 November.
European Bioeconomy Alliance’s sent an Open letter on the future European Green Deal: Integration of bioeconomy, providing key solutions for substituting fossil-based resources to Commissioner Timmermans in October. The bioeconomy is a major opportunity to help build a carbon neutral future in line with the climate objectives of the Paris Agreement, and contribute with solutions to help meet UN Sustainable Development Goals. Sustainably and efficiently produced biomass from the agricultural, forestry and marine sectors (“producing more and better”), and valorising side-stream and bio-waste can contribute significantly to Europe’s climate commitments.
This leaflet aims at presenting the importance of bioeconomy in the EU and it outlines the basic things one needs to know about Europe's innovative bio-based sectors.
In this leaflet we also present the eight concreat actions we would like EU to take action on.
The European Commission’s long-term strategy for decarbonisation highlights the essential and increasing role the EU bioeconomy must play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 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 European Bioeconomy Alliance (EUBA), representing sectors active in the bioeconomy – agriculture, forestry, biotechnology, sugar, starch, vegetable oils, pulp and paper, bioplastics, renewable ethanol, and research & innovation – is committed to working with policymakers to make that happen.
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 the mid-century ambitions of the European Union.
The bioeconomy encompasses the sustainable production of renewable biological resources from land and sea and their conversion into and their conversion into vital products and bio-energy through efficient and/or innovative technologies. It delivers 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.
To reap the full potential of the circular bioeconomy, the European Union should step-up efforts to:
The bioeconomy has a key role to play in the transition to a more circular, renewable and resource-efficient society. In order to achieve food security, meet climate and renewable energy targets and accelerate progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a holistic and cross‐sectoral approach to foster bio‐based solutions is vital.
For the most effective implementation of SDGs into EU policies and initiatives, coherence is necessary, particularly in light of the new EU political priorities from 2019 onwards. Only consistent, long‐term and stable policies, especially for the areas of energy, environment, climate, innovation, forestry and agriculture, will attract the necessary investments and foster the full potential of the bioeconomy.
With this paper, the European Bioeconomy Alliance (EUBA) makes a contribution to the policy debate on how to deliver on the implementation of the SDGs in the EU by highlighting the crucial role the bioeconomy plays across the three pillars of sustainable development: environmentally, societally and economically.
On 16 January 2018, the European Commission published its Communication ‘A European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy’. With this proposal the Commission aims to take an ambitious step towards making the European plastics system more resource-efficient and driving the change from a linear to a circular system.
Bio-based materials provide crucial innovative solutions for the development of a sustainable, circular plastics economy by using alternative feedstocks. The European Bioeconomy Alliance (EUBA) calls on the European Parliament and the Council of the EU to underpin the Commission's approach with concrete actions on how to realise the potential of bio-based plastics to contribute to driving innovation and sustainable development of the plastics industry.
Read the EUBA position paper by clicking the link below.
On the occasion of the EU Bioeconomy Policy Day and of the release of the “Staff Working Document on the review of the 2012 European Bioeconomy Strategy”, the European Bioeconomy Alliance (EUBA) calls for an ambitious revision of the 2012 EU Bioeconomy Strategy and for a time-bound and measurable Action Plan.
EUBA members, representing key stakeholders along the bioeconomy value chains, today propose a set of policy recommendations for the upcoming revision of the EU Bioeconomy Strategy and related Action Plan.
In its “Policy asks for the bioeconomy strategy revision” ,it calls for concrete measures and long-term support for sustainably-produced biomass, fostering investment and market development.
European policymakers must fully recognise and help achieve the potential of the bioeconomy if Europe is to become a global leader in this field. The bioeconomy is already worth €2 trillion annually and employs 22 million Europeans. In a stable investment and policy environment, it will boost competitiveness and long-term economic growth and contribute to over-arching goals such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The bioeconomy is key to a truly circular economy.
The EUBA document outlines what needs to be done at EU level to create a strong framework to support investments throughout the value chains, and enhance EU-grown biomass mobilisation and market access for bio-based products made in EU.
The five policy asks are as follows:
5. Markets: Promote bio-based products’ visibility to stimulate market demand.
“The time has come for an ambitiously-revised EU Bioeconomy Strategy and a time-bound well-implemented Action Plan” says Jamie Fortescue, Managing Director of Starch Europe, on behalf of the European Bioeconomy Alliance. “This is of utmost importance to foster investments in EU-grown biomass and biorefineries across Europe.
Note to the Editor
The Commission is organising a Bioeconomy Policy Day to present its review of the European Bioeconomy Strategy and Action Plan, documented as a Staff Working Document, and discuss its findings with stakeholders and policy makers. Furthermore, the European Bioeconomy Stakeholders Panel will present and discuss its Bioeconomy Manifesto, setting out a societal agenda for Bioeconomy development. These discussions will reflect both on the experiences gained over the past four years with Bioeconomy Strategy and Action Plan, and on the possible need for new actions. Separate parallel sessions will follow immediately after the plenary session chaired by 9 relevant Directorate Generals, the co-signatories of the Bioeconomy Strategy.
European Bioeconomy Alliance
The European Bioeconomy Alliance (EUBA) is an informal alliance of leading European organisations representing sectors active in the bioeconomy.
Contact person: Annie Xystouris, email@example.com, Direct line: 02 627 49 24
EUBA calls for the implementation of concrete measures and long‐term support for the availability of sustainably produced biomass, fostering investment and market development.
More specifically, the five policy asks are as follows:
1. Biomass: Circular bioeconomy should be an integral part of EU‐level frameworks and policies;
2. Investment: Increase funding and improve coherence of financing mechanisms for the circular bioeconomy;
3. Investment: Secure the Bio‐Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) 2.0;
4. Markets: Incentives for bio‐based products in strategic sectors;
5. Markets: Promote bio‐based products’ visibility to stimulate market demand.
The bioeconomy comprises the production of renewable biological resources and their conversion into food, feed, bio-based products and bioenergy. The European Bioeconomy Alliance (EUBA) believes that promoting and supporting sustainable biomass production in the EU is key to further developing the bioeconomy, and consistent with worldwide sustainable development based upon non-depleting natural resources. This should be better addressed through the review of the Bioeconomy Strategy.
The sustainable production of biomass strikes a balance between the economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainability, which are interdependent and mutually strengthen one another. Sustainable EU agricultural and forestry practices deliver benefits, such as healthy food, renewable and climate-friendly raw materials, ecosystem services, recreational activities for society, mitigating climate change, and protecting key habitats and nature.
On the occasion of ‘BioEconomyUtrecht2016’, the fourth Bioeconomy Stakeholders’ Conference, the European Bioeconomy Alliance (EUBA) calls on the EU to lead a worldwide transition towards a renewable, low-carbon economy. Europe has all of the means necessary to become a global leader in the bioeconomy, if its potential is realised and embraced by European policy makers.
Read full press release below.
A number of the sectors which are fundamental to the implementation of the EU Bioeconomy strategy, represented by the European Bioeconomy Alliance (EUBA), are identified as being subject to the risk of carbon leakage under the Commission’s proposal for the ETS post 2020. These are: starch, oilseeds and protein meals, pulp and paper and sugar. The EUBA supports this approach because there is indeed a real risk that these sectors may relocate their operations outside the EU in the absence of a global level playing field on energy cost.
Read the full press release below.
The European Bioeconomy Alliance (EUBA) is an informal alliance of leading European organisations representing sectors active in the bioeconomy (agriculture, forestry, biotechnology, sugar, starch, vegetal oils, pulp and paper, bioplastics, renewable ethanols, research & innovation).
Several of these sectors are subject to the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme, with a potential risk of carbon leakage at a competitive disadvantage vis-à-vis the rest of the world.
The bioeconomy comprises the production of renewable biological resources and their conversion into food, feed, bio-based products and bioenergy via innovative, efficient technologies. In this regard, it is the biological motor of a future circular economy, which is based on optimal use of resources and the production of primary raw materials from renewably sourced feedstock. Developing ways to use our land and renewable raw materials in the most sustainable, efficient and productive way will be an essential goal for the future. Only by finding such solutions can we address the grand challenges facing Europe and the wider world of resource efficiency, climate change mitigation and of providing sufficient food, energy and materials for a growing global population.
Plants, such as trees, crops and algae rely on photosynthesis – a natural process that inherently removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and releases oxygen – to grow. This comes in addition to the multiple benefits that the vegetation that grows in terrestrial and marine ecosystems also provide, e.g. reduce erosion, protect soils. When managed sustainably, these ecosystems can provide feedstocks that combine a lot of positive features for the environment: renewability, recyclability, biodegradability and compostability. These assets make plants a unique resource to sustain life on earth.
The bioeconomy offers huge potential to tackle societal challenges such as resource efficiency, climate change, maintaining European competitiveness and creation of jobs. The vision of the European Bioeconomy Alliance is for a competitive, innovative, energy secure and sustainable Europe: leading the transition towards a post-petroleum society while decoupling economic growth from resource depletion and environmental impact.
The EUBA presents five market-creation measures for the bioeconomy.