“While we need to import fossil raw materials, renewables just grow around the corner in our meadows, fields and forests.”
The German government has set out plans to accelerate its low-carbon transition by investing €3.6 billion in projects that help to strengthen its bioeconomy and create a market for bio-based products.
The Ministry for Food and Agriculture (@bmel) and the Ministry for Education Research (@BMBF_Bund) made the joint announcement last week (15 January) in light of the federal cabinet passing a national bioeconomy strategy.
According to the German government, the main aim of the country’s national strategy on the bioeconomy will be to work towards “a sustainable, cycle-oriented and highly-innovative German economy”.
The government is set to back more than 1,000 projects until 2024. Farming is set to gain the bulk of the green funds, receiving €2.5bn. Research funding will get more than €1bn and this investment will help to expand biological knowledge, and use of biological methods and systems.
Research and agriculture Anja Karlizcek and Julia Klöckner will oversee the scheme.
Speaking about the initiative, Klöckner said: “While we need to import fossil raw materials, renewables just grow around the corner in our meadows, fields and forests.”
The German government has acknowledged that a growth of biogenic raw materials will replace fossil fuel-based ones and help to create new sustainable products.
Klöckner highlighted different examples of bioeconomy products, including car tyres made from dandelions, car doors made from hemp, and rubber boots made from corn.
She also noted that “conflicts” must be avoided between the bioeconomy and traditional farming, warning that “growing demand for renewable raw materials should not endanger food security.”
Germany is the latest in a long line of countries that have announced plans to promote their bioeconomies. Last year, Canada, the UK and Italy also unveiled plans to boost their bioeconomies.
In 2019, the Canadian government invested C$200,000 in Bioindustrial Innovation Canada, a not-for-profit business accelerator based in Sarnia, Ontario, to support the development of a national bioeconomy strategy.
Canada’s first national bioeconomy strategy aims to help meet the goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, greenhouse gases and attract additional markets to the biomass and bioproduct sectors.
According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the funding will allow Canadian farmers with opportunities to diversify their commodities and develop new uses for crops.
The strategy will also provide the opportunity to work with other sectors, including forestry, to help meet Canada’s agriculture growth plans for a greener economy.
In its bioeconomy strategy, the Italian National Committee for Biosafety, Biotechnology and Sciences of Life said that the main objective of the initiative was to increase the current Italian bioeconomy turnover (currently around €330 billion per year) and jobs (around 2 million) by 15% by 2030, while increasing the level of circularity in the economy.
More specifically, Italy wants to interconnect and increase the productivity of the sectors that make up the bioeconomy such as agriculture, livestock, forests, fisheries and aquaculture.