With Russia’s war in Ukraine, the European Commission is rediscovering the virtues of bioeconomy for the EU’s energy independence and food security. But it also acknowledges that trade-offs need to be addressed in order to avoid harming the environment.
The EU’s bioeconomy strategy, first adopted in 2012, aimed at several objectives, like ensuring food security, reducing dependence on fossil fuels, and contributing to the fight against climate change while supporting local jobs.
These objectives “are now more relevant than ever, following the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine and the need to speed up achieving independence on energy and to strengthen food security,” the Commission said in a progress report published before the summer.
The report, adopted on 9 June, took stock of progress made since the EU’s bioeconomy strategy was adopted ten years ago. It says EU countries are broadly on track with adopting national bioeconomy plans, putting Europe “in a strong position” on the global market for bio-based chemicals and materials.
Bio-based chemicals can turn algae into fuel, recycle plastic, convert waste into new furniture or clothing as well as transform industrial by-products into bio-based fertilisers, the Commission said when it adopted its latest revision of the strategy, in 2018.