We are 12 leading European organisations who joined their forces in a unique cross-sectoral alliance, dedicated to mainstreaming and realising the bioeconomy’s potential in Europe. The European Bioeconomy Alliance (EUBA) represents various sectors active in the bioeconomy – agriculture, forestry, biotechnology, starch, sugar, vegetable oils, bioplastics, renewable ethanol, and research & innovation. With this open letter we would like to bring to your attention in your capacity as Executive Vice-President designate for the European Green Deal, a number of issues that are in our opinion of considerable importance for this initiative.
At a time where urgent action is needed to fight against climate change and to contribute to Sustainable Development Goals, our sectors support a future European Green Deal that concretely addresses the continuation of the transition to a more sustainable circular bioeconomy. The bioeconomy is as a major opportunity to help build a carbon neutral future in line with the climate objectives of the Paris Agreement, and contribute with solutions to help meet UN Sustainable Development Goals. Sustainably and efficiently produced biomass from the agricultural, forestry and marine sectors (“producing more and better”), and valorising side-stream and bio-waste can contribute significantly to Europe’s climate commitments. A strong bioeconomy will create jobs, stimulate growth and rejuvenate rural areas as well as reducing Europe’s dependence on imports while increasing the security of supply. In addition, it can enhance biodiversity through sustainable management of land and resources.
Ensuring coherence and synergies of key EU policies under the Green Deal
In this context, our sectors believe that it is key for the future European Green Deal to ensure long-term policy coherence and synergies between relevant EU policies for the implementation of the updated EU Bioeconomy Strategy.
This should include concrete actions and tools to boost the bioeconomy in the EU under:
- The future Vision for inclusive rural areas
- The future Common Agriculture Policy
- The Sustainable European Investment Plan
- The Just Transition Fund
- The New industrial strategy
- The Strategy on Farm to Fork
- EU climate and energy policies including upcoming European Climate Law
- The future EU Biodiversity Strategy
- The Circular Economy Action Plan (including revision of waste and packaging policies)and as well as the Plastics Strategy.
A key factor that must be addressed in the Green Deal is the integration of an updated EU Forest Strategy post-2020, taking into account the important role of the sector for the transition to a more sustainable circular bioeconomy.
In addition, good coordination with other relevant policies that are not under your direct responsibility such as youth and innovation and jobs is crucial. Research and innovation in general and the proposed partnership for a Circular Bio-based Europe in particular, will be key to develop and scale-up sustainable bio-based solutions to tackle society's major challenges.
All these should go hand in hand with the ‘One In, One Out’ principle. This should contribute to simplification and reducing the administrative burden for Member States and beneficiaries and contributing to a more successful policy implementation.
We strongly believe that the coming political cycle in Europe has the potential to define the very shape of the European model for bioeconomy for the decades to come. Therefore, in the name of more than 18 million people employed by our sectors, we appeal to you to consider these elements during the preparation of European Green Deal and the proposals that will support its achievement.
Our associations would be happy to meet you to discuss further.
• BIC – Bio-based Industries Consortium
• CEFS – European Association of Sugar Producers
• CEPF – Confederation of European Forest Owners
• CEPI – Confederation of European Paper Industries
• COPA-COGECA – European Farmers and European Agri-Cooperatives
• ePURE – European Renewable Ethanol Producers Association
• EuropaBio – The European Association for Bioindustries
• EUBP – European Bioplastics
• FEDIOL – The European Vegetable Oil and Protein Meal Industry
• FTP – Forest-based Sector Technology Platform
• PFP – Primary Food Processors
• Starch Europe – European Starch Industry Association