A group of 14 EU trade associations, including the providers of high-quality wood-based products, fibre-based paper and board products and packaging, and renewable energy solutions, supported by EU forest owners and managers, have jointly launched a cross-sectoral coalition to present EU policymakers with an ambitious common vision ahead of 2030 and, going beyond, one leading to a transition towards a circular bioeconomy.
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Now, more than ever is the time to embed into EU policy the circular bioeconomy as a fully integrated, resilient European value chain.
The newly launched “Cross-sectoral Coalition for Circular Choices for the EU’s Bioeconomy” (Circular Choices) offers biobased, renewable, and carbon-neutral products and solutions that contribute to European resilience and enable the transition towards a circular bioeconomy.
From logs, wood products, and renewable energy, to the construction and furniture sectors, to the innovations in the pulp, packaging, board, tissue, and printing sectors, the signatories and supporters behind Circular Choices are committed to sustainable management of Europe’s forests, the delivery of sustainable products, the transition to net zero and the creation of long-term jobs.
According to a statement, the aim of the coalition which is also supported by a further six associations linked to the forestry sector is to present EU policymakers with an ambitious common vision ahead of 2030 and, going beyond, one leading to a transition towards a circular bioeconomy.
The coalition has made publicly available a paper titled “Circular Choices for a Competitive EU Bioeconomy – Growing a circular future” detailing common challenges, needs, and solutions.
This is the broadest coalition yet representing these value chains. Combined coalition members represent 3 percent of the EU’s GDP, EUR 520 billion in turnover, and 20 percent of its manufacturing companies.
They are an integrated part of the EU bioeconomy, using local renewably sourced materials, made and recycled in Europe, and using European technology.
However, according to the signatories, their contribution could go much further, and as such hope to work with the EU institutions towards creating an enabling policy environment for their sectors to collectively reach climate change mitigation equivalent to 30 percent of EU annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
In 2019, this figure stood at 20 percent. The coalition’s ambition will require consolidating the EU’s global leadership as a provider of sustainable and competitive alternative solutions for today, and innovative opportunities for tomorrow. Europe’s wood and fibre-based value chains are widely considered a laboratory for the future circular bioeconomy.
In order to be climate neutral by 2050, the EU needs to work with the coalition to accelerate the uptake of bio-products, encourage investments in green technologies for production processes and supply chains, and support a shift towards sustainable consumption while putting in place policies to boost the competitiveness of sustainable manufacturing industries.
The competitiveness of the overall European industry has been impacted by the energy crunch and issues related to the supply of strategic raw materials.
Wood-based products, fibre-based paper and board products and packaging, and renewable energy solutions, offer resilience and ensure European strategic autonomy and competitiveness via the sustainable management of sources of valuable raw materials, secondary raw materials, and related technologies.
Renewable solutions like bioenergy are based on sustainable biomass products that form a key part of the wood-based value chain and the EU’s bioeconomy, and it is high time that EU policymakers finally recognized it as such. This Coalition of like-minded associations strongly believes that we can significantly contribute to the mitigation of fossil fuel emissions by 2030, said Jean-Marc Jossart, Secretary General of Bioenergy Europe.