Launched in 2019, the Green Deal is Europe's new growth strategy that aims to transform the EU into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy, where
- there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050
- economic growth is decoupled from resource use
- no person and no place is left behind.
In order to achieve these goals it spans many policy area including biodiversity, from farm to fork, sustainable agriculture, eliminating pollution, climate action and sustainable industry.
Examples of how the bioeconomy contributes to the European Green Deal:
Climate pact and climate law:
Carbon sequestration in soil, blue carbon and forests and its storage in harvested wood products, together with material substitution of fossil-based products (plastics, energy, textiles), can generate significant carbon savings and make us fit for -55% by 2030.
Promoting clean energy:
Unavoidable biowaste can be converted into energy including biofuels for sectors in which electrification will remain challenging (aviation, maritime).
Investing in smarter, more sustainable transport:
Use of cellulosic ethanol made from agricultural residues, such as wheat straw, in the transport sector can achieve up to 95% emission savings compared to fossil fuels.
Striving for green industry:
Circular use of biomass promotes resource efficiency and stimulates the production of high added-value products from side and waste streams. Bark residues, for example, can be used for extraction of protective compounds used for non-toxic treatment of wood-based construction materials.
Circular bioeconomy maximises the use of side and residual streams from agriculture, food-processing and forest-based industries, thus reducing the amount of landfilled waste.
Moreover, the use of bio-fertilisers, bio-pesticides and bio-based pest control can contribute towards achieving the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategy’s objectives of reducing fertiliser and pesticide use and risk.
Ensuring a just transition for all:
The bioeconomy can create 400 000 new green jobs by 2035 in particular in rural and coastal areas if supported and deployed by regional and national strategies. Many bioeconomy opportunities also exist in urban and peri-urban areas.
Financing green projects:
The European Circular Bioeconomy Fund with a volume of up to €250 million will invest in innovative circular bioeconomy projects, in the areas of agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries, the forest-based sectors, biochemicals and biomaterials.
Making homes energy efficient, renovate:
The use of biobased insulation materials such as cellulose fibre and sheep’s wool can effectively insulate buildings in a way that also minimises their embodied greenhouse gas emissions.
From farm to fork:
Algae farming can be a new source of renewable biomass for food and green products. Sustainable algae production has the advantage of achieving potentially high yields with minimum or no land and fertiliser requirements while enhancing biodiversity.
Moreover, the circular bioeconomy helps to fight food waste by valorising it into a range of added-value products.
Developing sustainable bioeconomies can contribute to the enhancement of biodiversity while improving the provision of ecosystem services.
Leading the green change globally:
The European Commission leads global bioeconomy initiatives, such as the International Bioeconomy Forum, and promotes the role of research and innovation as a key enabler in the global green transition.