EuropaBio Comments on the Roadmap on Restoring Sustainable Carbon Cycles
EuropaBio appreciates the opportunity to comment on the roadmap on restoring sustainable carbon cycles. Europe’s goal to become the first climate-neutral continent will rely on reducing overall EU greenhouse gas emissions and further transition from fossil carbon to renewable carbon. We appreciate the focus on sustainable carbon cycles, rather than decarbonization: as the roadmap notes, carbon feedstock will still be needed in 2050 and beyond to produce sustainable fuels, plastics, chemicals, materials, and food.
We note that the roadmap places equal emphasis on technological and nature-based solutions and welcome the inclusion of recycling carbon from biomass and waste to replace fossil carbon. A vibrant EU bioeconomy will be a key component contributing towards sustainable carbon cycles. By storing and utilizing carbon dioxide and replacing carbon intensive fossil-based resources, sustainably sourced renewable materials offer a key opportunity to contribute towards achieving Europe’s climate ambitions.
The bioeconomy optimizes land use and food security through a sustainable, resource-efficient, and largely waste-free utilisation of Europe’s renewable raw materials, thereby contributing significantly to a circular economy with reduced dependence on fossil resources. In this context, it is also worth noting that when biomass is used for making longer life-span products, the carbon dioxide absorbed from the atmosphere is stored in those products for the long-term.
We consider that this forthcoming Communication should reflect the critical importance of integrating bioeconomy considerations throughout relevant EU policies within the EU Green Deal, such as the Circular Economy Action Plan and the Farm to Fork strategy. In addition, the 2018 Bioeconomy Strategy should also be fully implemented to support the goals of this initiative as relevant and applicable (we note the public consultation on the stock take and future development of the Bioeconomy Strategy held earlier this year).
As global challenges become increasingly pressing, so does the need to prioritise and invest in innovative solutions from the bioeconomy sectors. This includes cutting-edge technologies like industrial biotechnology and tools such as genome editing and new genomic techniques. Enabling efficient use of renewable feedstocks would support climate mitigation and contribute towards achieving the ambitions of the EU Green Deal.