Green Week 2011: Biotechnology leading the way to a greener, more competitive EU future
Brussels, 25 May 2011
Europe must become more resource efficient, which means its leaders must find innovative ways to conserve energy, water and land to ensure that it becomes more sustainable whilst remaining competitive. This is the clear message at DG Environment’s Green Week; which takes place in Brussels this week. EuropaBio is present at the event at stand 47 to mark the quantifiable contributions that biotechnology is making towards a greener and more competitive Europe for today and tomorrow.
Biotechnology is already delivering on resource efficiency in Europe and across the world and its contribution is expected to grow steadily. For example, a WWF report noted that by 2030, 1 billion to 2.5 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions could be avoided through the uptake of industrial biotechnology and bio-based products – more than Germany’s total emissions in 1990. Moreover, in 2009, the equivalent of 7.8 million cars was removed from the road (a decrease of 17.7 billion kg of CO2) thanks to advances in agricultural productivity and the application of agbiotech. Not to mention the simple daily life improvements that biotech applications provide such as the availability of low-temperature washing powders that save energy.
However, if Europe is serious about developing a world-leading resource efficient bio-based economy, a more holistic and strategic approach to policy and funding is needed. In addition, there must be improved production and access to renewable raw materials for industrial use, in sufficient quantity, of good and guaranteed quality and at competitive price which will also provide European farmers with new market opportunities through diversification of their income. In addition, the EU needs to invest in local and regional infrastructures (including biorefineries) and logistical capabilities to allow all biomass, including agricultural, forestry and waste-based raw materials to be efficiently used.
By offering the choice to grow biotech crops, farmers can grow more crops on less land while conserving water and soil not to mention helping to revitalise rural economies, through farming more sustainably and productively whilst improving and securing access to renewable raw materials for industrial use.
According to Nathalie Moll, EuropaBio’s Secretary-General, “Sadly, biotechnology is perhaps the best-kept secret in the search for greater resource efficiency – but it should not remain so. Policymakers must recognise the powerful benefits that biotechnology can have for Europe, its citizens and its farmers. A more integrated, strategic approach is needed if we are serious about developing a globally competitive, resource efficient economy.”
- How industrial biotechnology can tackle climate change
- Water wise solutions from agricultural biotechnology
- Green biotechnology and climate change
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