25 November 2020

How the bioeconomy contributes to the European Green Deal

Under Horizon 2020, the European Commission already dedicated €3.85 billion of public funds into bioeconomy projects over the past seven years

The bioeconomy, as a catalyst for systemic change, tackles the economic, social and environmental aspects of the Green Deal, seeking new ways of producing and consuming resources while respecting our planetary boundaries and moving away from a linear economy based on extensive use of fossil and mineral resources.

A circular and sustainable bioeconomy has the potential to contribute to all dimensions and objectives of the European Green Deal by:

  • Delivering on Europe’s economic prosperity and ensuring a fair and just transition.
  • Producing fossil-free materials for a climate-neutral future.
  • Enhancing the protection of the environment and ecosystems.

Background

It is estimated that the bioeconomy contributes to almost 9% of the EU-27 labour force and 4.7% of the EU-27 GDP1. As a concrete operationalisation of the bioeconomy, more than 2,300 bio-based plants have been mapped by the Joint Research Centre across Europe2.To fully reap the economic, social and environmental benefits of the bioeconomy, dedicated bioeconomy strategies, investments and innovation are required at all levels in the EU. That is why the updated European Bioeconomy Strategy of 2018 states the need for the development of national and regional bioeconomy strategies.

The European Commission supports the BIOEAST initiative, which will facilitate the development of national bioeconomy strategies in Central and Eastern Europe.

Horizon 2020

Under Horizon 2020, the European Commission already dedicated €3.85 billion of public funds into bioeconomy projects over the past seven years, yet further research on innovative bioeconomy areas is needed and will be financed through Horizon Europe (2021-2027).

The link between the bioeconomy and the COVID-19 recovery.

The bioeconomy will play an integral role in spurring on the EU recovery from the COVID-19 crisis by aligning the economy with the biosphere. The bioeconomy will thus improve resilience and competitiveness, providing long-term systemic solutions, and ensuring a just transition.

“With its potential to connect and implement transformative policies holistically, the bioeconomy will contribute to all dimensions and objectives of the European Green Deal. Research and innovation will enable Europe to lead the green and digital transition.”

Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth

Get the full publication under https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/research_and_innovation/research_by_area/documents/ec_rtd_greendeal-bioeconomy.pdf

Source: European Commission, 2020-11.

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