Cefic released on June 20 a policy document that gives European chemicals sector views on the bioeconomy in Europe. The three-page document, written by policy experts at the trade group, was presented today to EU policy experts from stakeholder groups, including the European Commission, in Brussels.
The paper outlines three clear dimensions of the bioeconomy in Europe that will impact the EU chemical industry: access to renewable feedstock, innovation and market- driven demand generation. On the feedstock topic, the paper notes that access to biomass and bio-based building blocks at global market prices is a key issue for a sustained and cost-effective bio-based industry in Europe. In order to be able to achieve Europe 2020 and the bioeconomy objectives, the European chemical industry calls for four market reforms including global open market competition to balance supply and demand as well as a level playing field with respect to biofuels.
Cefic points out that innovation will have a significant role in determining the success of the bioeconomy, through the ability of and investment from all the actors, both public and private, to go the full innovation cycle – from research to market deployment. Innovation breakthroughs can be achieved through “full scale demonstration projects and pilot lines throughout the value chain, for which public and private support will be absolutely essential.” Cefic sees innovation Public-Private Partnerships that are under development – Sustainable Process Industry through Resource, and Energy Efficiency (SPIRE) and BIO – can make an essential contribution to the bioeconomy’s agenda.
Cefic calls on EU authorities to base their drive towards the bioeconomy on sustainability criteria based on sound science and reliable data.
The paper concludes: “Although our industry will undoubtedly remain predominantly petrochemicals-based in the coming decades, there is potential for greater use of bio-based feedstock. Cefic has therefore, a high level of engagement in the development of the bioeconomy.”