The EU economy is highly dependent on linear production systems and non-renewable resources and materials. The existing production systems that are in practice, contribute to serious environmental and climate problems and ongoing fossil fuel extraction releases more carbon in the atmosphere, contributing to the well-known greenhouse effect. In addition to the direct consequences on the environment and humans, climate change affects the economy as a whole.
The climate change impact over food security, human health, migratory flows, biodiversity loss and rising sea levels, among other aspects, will lead to a decline in productivity and wealth creation.
In this context, the bioeconomy has a key role to play
“The bioeconomy covers all sectors and systems that rely on biological resources (animals, plants, micro-organisms and derived biomass, including organic waste), their functions and principles. It includes and interlinks: land and marine ecosystems and the services they provide; all primary production sectors that use and produce biological resources (agriculture, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture); and all economic and industrial sectors that use biological resources and processes to produce food, feed, bio-based products, energy and services.”
The bioeconomy involves replacing fossil fuels and fossil feedstock with bio-based energy and raw materials. Economic activities that are based on the production, extraction, conversion and use of biological natural resources are known as bio economy. Waste streams, by-products and residues can be a major source of raw materials.
A circular bioeconomy has the potential to contribute to more sustainable practices and to mitigate climate change with techniques and practices ranging from simple ones such as re-using waste generated in one process as resource in the manufacturing of new products, to highly complex ones.
Unlocking the potential towards circular Bioeconomy
The development of a sustainable bioeconomy in Europe is key to unlocking the potential of many well-established as well as new economic sectors.
An economy founded on biomass instead of fossil fuels represents a significant shift in socioeconomic, agricultural, energy and technical systems. Stronger development of the bioeconomy will help the EU accelerate progress towards a circular and low-carbon economy.
Stronger bioeconomy will also help modernise and strengthen the EU industrial base, creating new value chains and greener, more cost-effective industrial processes, while protecting biodiversity and the environment.