A new EU bioeconomy strategy and action plan: Calling for tangible action to scale up the circular bioeconomy
In light of changes in the economic and political context in the EU, with more emphasis on climate change mitigation, circular economy and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the EU bioeconomy strategy and action plan are to be updated by the European Commission in 2018.
Bio-based industries will play an important role in spurring sustainable growth and boosting Europe’s competitiveness by re-industrialising and revitalising rural and coastal areas.
BIC believes the EU should seize the opportunity to aim for an ambitious and action-oriented bioeconomy strategy update, taking into account the following:
1. Don’t stop the innovation train: To maintain the EU leadership role in the bioeconomy, continued investment and a second round of the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking - BBI 2.0. - are necessary. Stopping now would mean losing out on investments already made.
2. The EU should champion the bioeconomy: The bioeconomy helps the EU lead in delivering on its circular economy and low-carbon economy goals, as well as on most of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
3. Make the EU Bioeconomy Strategy tangible for consumers and businesses and capable of delivering concrete consumer benefits: Promote bio-based products and raise public awareness in order to create an EU internal market for sustainable alternatives to fossil-based products.
The Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) calls for a continued partnership with the European Commission under the new EU Research & Innovation Framework programme (FP9).
BIC asks for a continuation of the current BBI JU (a “BBI 2.0.”) because:
1. Funding from the BBI JU is crucial in order to turn research into innovation and deployment in Europeand thus to develop a competitive European bioeconomy.
2. BBI JU brings together different sectors and entire value chains, mobilising the relevant stakeholders, ranging from SMEs to large companies, from resource & technology providers to brand owners.
Impact of the BBI JU
The BIC position paper “The BBI JU – An Institutional PPP supporting the Bioeconomy Strategy” describes the current and future impacts of the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU).
The BBI JU - a unique Joint Undertaking - aims to invest € 3.7 billion in bio-based innovation between 2014 and 2020: € 975 million have been committed by the European Commission and € 2.7 billion by the private sector. Already today, for every euro of public funding BBI JU expects to leverage € 4,4 of private financial contributions: in the first 3 years, bio-based industries have reported € 192 million in-kind operational project contributions and € 1.95 billion of additional activities. The BBI JU contributes to green growth in Europe, reindustrialisation and development of rural areas, and helps the transition towards a Circular and Low Carbon Economy creating new markets for bio-based products and finding synergies between European financial instruments.
BIC Position on REDII - Sustainable bioenergy contributes to the EU’s long-term decarbonisation target
Position of the Bio-based Industries Consortium on the EU Renewable Energy Directive, April 2017.
BIC views on the Waste package: A successful Circular Economy requires a vibrant renewable Bioeconomy
A sustainable waste management system that fully uses the potential of agricultural, forestry and municipal (biogenic) wastes will be essential to enable the circular economy and can supply the bioeconomy with recycled raw materials. Key policy asks: (1) Ensure access to biomass ; (2) Promote industrial symbiosis and boost secondary raw materials; and, (3) Promote bio-based packaging.
The European circular economy package Position of the Bio-based Industries Consortium
The concept of the circular economy is about using the planet’s resources efficiently and sustainably to prevent irreversible environmental degradation and resource depletion. The circular economy seeks to break away from the linear economy characterized by “make, use, dispose” in favour of a more circular model based on “reuse, recycle or biodegrade”. The bioeconomy is a perfect illustration of circularity in that it regenerates CO2 and uses renewable raw materials to make greener everyday products.