How industrial biotechnology can tackle climate change

01.12.2008

Climate change is “hot” right now, intensely discussed by politicians, business, society and the media. 

Reducing the impact on the world’s climate is a key element in sustainable development and of particular importance for industry. Discussions in the early days focused on finding the origin of climate change, now industry and other stakeholders are searching for solutions and ways to minimise climate change and its negative effects.

Industrial emissions have substantially fallen over the past 30 years in most western European countries (see figure). This is mainly due to technology improvements. However, today’s technologies will most probably not be sufficient and adequate to achieve the ambitious objective set by the European Union to become the world leader in combating climate change. 

Industrial or white biotechnology is one of the most promising new approaches to pollution prevention, resource conservation, and cost reduction. Applications of white biotechnology can contribute to meet the EU’s environmental objective to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20% in 2020. This fact sheet provides some concrete examples.