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European alliance calls for more action on bioeconomy

A newly formed pan-European association for organisations active in the bioeconomy has urged the EU to take more action to exploit the potential of extracting value from organics.

The European Bioeconomy Alliance (EBA), which was launched at the European Parliament on 4 February, has called for a “coherent and harmonised framework” across European policies to ensure the development of the bioeconomy.

“The bioeconomy is not a niche sector,” said the EBA. “It encompasses the sustainable production of renewable resources and their conversion into food, feed, fibres, materials, chemicals and bioenergy through efficient and/or innovative technologies, which provides widespread economic, environmental and societal benefits.”

The alliance said the EU should act in areas including:

  • Stimulating markets for bio-based products and raising awareness of them
  • Encouraging member states to increase soil and agriculture productivities in a sustainable way, and facilitating access to renewable feedstocks
  • addressing barriers to investment in biorefineries
  • engaging with the civil society, forest owners and industry to encourage debate on the bioeconomy

The EBA is an informal alliance of European organisations including the Confederation of European Paper Industries and European Bioplastics.

According to the European Commission, bio-based products and biofuels represent about €57bn (£42bn) in annual revenue and involve 300,000 jobs across the EU. The bio-based share of all chemical sales is expected to rise to 22% by 2020.

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