Biotechnology: A powerful, innovative technology to mitigate climate change

07.12.2009

Biotechnology: A powerful, innovative technology to mitigate climate change

Biotechnology provides key solutions to mitigating  climate change.  The UNFCCC can make those solutions more widely known, while promoting  adequate protection of intellectual property rights to secure that innovations can be implemented for the benefit of our climate.

Meeting market demands whilst at the same time reducing the impact on our climate is of critical importance to industry. Although in the past discussions had centred around the causes of climate change, today society, industry, governments and other stakeholders are searching for solutions to mitigate its impact on our health and environment.  Industrial greenhouse gas emissions have substantially decreased over recent years in most Western European countries. Both regulators and industry have responded to the need to work towards a sustainable future and have focused on developing and innovating technological improvements for the benefit of our environment. However, in spite of these endeavours current practices and technologies will most likely be insufficient or inadequate to achieve the ambitious objectives set  by the European Union and other countries to tackle climate change. Industries must take bold steps towards establishing more sustainable growth and must be given the opportunity to implement technologies including the use of biotechnology to reduce our carbon footprint. 
 
With the Kyoto Protocol due to expire in 2012, parties to the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) are currently in the process of negotiating a new treaty.  The Convention aims to announce the final version of this treaty at the UNFCCC meeting in Copenhagen this December.  For the biotechnology industry, it is critical that our current and emerging technologies are recognised by stakeholders as being part of the toolkit necessary to achieve sustainable solutions to climate change.  Furthermore, it is also of vital importance that a worldwide climate change agreement both supports and enables the implementation of biotech innovations.