“Without further investment in the bioeconomy, the net zero emissions target will not be met.” Data published by the EU project Biomonitor point to gaps in the Green Deal and suggest speeding up the process.
“Achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 will require more investment than envisioned in the Green Deal. , it is important not to alienate investors.”
This is not what critics and politicians say, but the numbers released by an EU project that models several possible scenarios for the next few decades. Over four years in the making, Biomonitor was launched in 2018 with the aim of addressing information gaps in bioeconomic research and providing political and economic leaders with more effective planning tools. Justus Wesseler is a project coordinator.
What strategies does the data suggest to reach the zero emissions target by 2050 set by the European Green Deal?
First of all, we need to increase investment in the bioeconomy. And we need to be able to use new technologies faster than they are today.
Why are these two steps so important?
The bioeconomy can make a significant contribution to achieving zero greenhouse gas emissions, but without further technological innovation, it cannot play such an important role. As such, the data suggests that more investment is needed. What the Green Deal currently shows is not enough to reach our climate-neutral goals by 2050.
What other scenarios have you considered?
One is to continue business as usual, essentially replicating what has happened in the future. , assuming the possible impact of the introduction of a tax on carbon dioxide.
So what do you suggest?
It’s not our responsibility as scientists and researchers to suggest what to do, but we can say, “Hey, let’s look at our results and see what happens if we do this or that.” We can say. Our data and scenarios simply provide information for policy makers and European institutions to accelerate bioeconomy adoption and point out where further adjustments are needed.
It depends on your goals and priorities. However, at the EU level, for example, it may be helpful to direct investment to certain subsectors of the bioeconomy that have higher potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions than others.
So are you happy with the results of your biomonitor project?
Yes definitely. At first I was faced with a kind of blank page. In 2018, much information was lacking on the development of the European bioeconomy and its implications for sustainability. This means that it impacts not only greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity, but also the labor market. Reconstructing the data has never been easier. This is especially true in some bioeconomy subsectors, which are characterized by a small number of stakeholders. Moreover, due to data protection regulations, some of them are only available at an aggregate level.
What are you most proud of?
We have developed a better way to assess the sustainability of the bioeconomy. It is now available for use by various stakeholders, including EU policy makers, Member States and private companies. Some of the information was already there, but it helped to better organize the data and make it available for further evaluation.
So you’re done?
Far from it. Our aim was to pave the way for a much longer journey. We identified gaps in the data, but it wasn’t our responsibility to fill them. We have provided a methodology that can be taken up by various stakeholders.
Paving the way for the bioeconomy also means embracing new ways of thinking. Do you think the time is ripe for that?
The mindset was not ready when Biomonitor was launched. But the war in Ukraine changed everything very quickly. Policy makers and citizens have become more aware of how dependent we are on the rest of the world, especially for energy supplies. They understand that energy needs to be used more sustainably. And in this regard, the bioeconomy is very important. It helps improve the utilization of biological resources and convert them into energy, but also other useful bio-based products that may help reduce our dependence on Russia.
You mentioned the war in Ukraine and high energy prices, but how will these geopolitical conditions affect the implementation of the bioeconomy?
Of course, it is quite a challenge. The effect will be positive and negative at the same time. On the one hand, the Ukraine crisis shows how important a sustainable energy supply is for the European Union. Generating energy from biological resources will become more important, which will encourage investment and support the development of the bioeconomy. On the other hand, some bio-based products have already been affected by rising energy prices, which could discourage consumers.
Some critics argue that many sustainable solutions are still very expensive today, thus slowing the bioeconomy’s implementation.
Some solutions may still be a little pricey, but this proves that further progress and investment are needed to scale them up. , over time, the cost and price will go down. And look what Tesla has achieved. Their cars may still be for big consumers, but they basically let the entire auto industry follow suit with investments in electric vehicles.
Finally, let me give you some tips for the future.
Our data also show that the length and complexity of the new technology approval process can be very costly for companies and ultimately discourage investors. Specifically, the European Commission could, for example, shorten such timeframes and in doing so stimulate the development of the bioeconomy. It costs nothing and requires only political will. it’s in their hands.
Investing in the ‘bioeconomy’ could create jobs and reduce carbon footprint
Provide iCube program
Quote: Bioeconomy and Carbon Neutrality: “Without Further Investment, We Will Not Reach Our Goals” (30 September 2022) 30 September 2022 https://phys.org/news/2022-09-bieconomy-carbon Taken from -neutrality-investments.html
This document is subject to copyright. No part may be reproduced without written permission, except in fair trade for personal research or research purposes. Content is provided for informational purposes only.