EU politicians must not forget the valuable role the bio-based sector will play in the continent’s green recovery, industry experts have warned.
A total of 63 Bio-based Industries Consortium (@biconsortium) members, including CEOs and C-level executives, signed an open letter addressed to EU Commissioners on the issue today (18th June).
“With about €700 billion turnover and 3.6 million people employed, the bio-based industries are helping to alleviate the impact of the crisis by keeping essential services running and maintaining green jobs. Our companies are providing much-needed supplies such as food and feed ingredients, (compostable) packaging, hand sanitisers, masks, tissues, and energy from renewable feedstock,” industry members wrote.
They also warned that climate change would not “halt if we do not take action”.
“Reducing Europe’s dependency on fossil-based resources, sustaining healthy ecosystems and reaching the climate neutrality goal will require better integration across sectors to create more circular and innovative bio-based solutions,” they wrote.
The letter comes amid EU plans for a green recovery. In May, the European Commission unveiled a €750 billion aid package to help the EU recover from the coronavirus pandemic and has asserted that green measures will be at the heart of the plan. It is still laying out the details of this plan.
According to the industry heavyweights, “the bio-based sector can help by turning the crisis into new opportunities for green growth and by being a strong partner in the EU’s green economic recovery”.
They added: “We are integrating ‘traditional’ industrial sectors into innovative value chains in making the European bioeconomy the global leader. We sustainably use domestic renewable feedstock from agriculture, forestry and fisheries as well as residues and bio-waste, and process it in state-of-the-art biorefineries to provide bio-based solutions for our customers and consumers. We help to improve food security, foster circularity, stimulate rural development and maintain green jobs in EU regions.”
Elsewhere, they emphasised the need to “build on the positive impacts of the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU) and to fully implement the EU Bioeconomy Strategy”.
“To enable our industry to fully deploy its potential, the European Green Deal should better recognise the importance of the bioeconomy and support the private-public partnership ‘Circular Bio-based Europe’. Only together can private and public sectors ensure that economic recovery and green growth go hand in hand. Our companies are committed to investing in circular and innovative bio-based solutions in Europe, paving the way to a more sustainable and resilient future,” they concluded.