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Publication Announcement

New science-policy study: Leading the way to a European circular bioeconomy strategy

31 October 2017 European Forest Institute

The year 2016 was a turning point: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted, and the Paris Agreement on climate change came into effect. These sent out a global political message on the need to transform our economic system to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure wellbeing for all.

The critical question now is how to reach the ambitious targets they set. A necessary part of the answer will be the move to a circular bioeconomy to increase the use of renewable non-fossil raw materials and products in sustainable, resource-efficient way. The new From Science to Policy study from the European Forest Institute analyses what a circular bioeconomy strategy would require, particularly in a European context.

Existing bioeconomy strategies have been helpful, but many, for example the EU Bioeconomy Strategy and Action Plan from 2012, have gaps in scope or focus and need updating due to major recent changes and new initiatives. In particular, it is crucial to connect bioeconomy to the circular economy concept, and to mainstream circular bioeconomy within the rest of the economy, not just advance it as a separate sector of interest to mainly rural communities. Forest-based solutions can help to develop and transform the circular bioeconomy from niche to norm.

The study’s key recommendations for a circular bioeconomy strategy include, amongst others: the creation of a science-based circular bioeconomy narrative; designing policies to support all dimensions of sustainability; abolishing subsidies for fossil products and a need for a higher and more effective carbon price; investment in R&D; developing EU-level common standards and regulations; and an emphasis on biobased services as well as products.

The report’s main outcomes and policy recommendations will be discussed at the ThinkForest seminar, ‘Looking ahead to a circular European bioeconomy’ in Brussels on 7 November. More information can be found here:

The study is published on 31.10.2017, and is freely downloadable:

An executive summary is available:

Attached files

  • efi_fstp_5_2017

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