Politics / Law
Climate Change: EuropaBio calls on Barroso to put biotechnology on the map
Brussels/Copenhagen – On the eve of the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit, the European bioindustries association EuropaBio has called on the European Commission to support the application of biotech processes to cut CO2 emissions. In an open letter to Commission president Manuel Barosso, EuropaBio’s Secretary General Willy De Greef said: “Industrial biotechnology offers the realistic prospect of substituting renewable raw materials for fossil fuels in selected applications, with associated emissions reductions of between 1 and 2.5 billion tonnes CO2 annually by 2030” (for exact numbers see here…). He also stated that agribiotechnology can enable agriculture to adapt to an unpredictable climate (see more…), and can help ensure that production keeps up with rising demand across the world. “The EU and its member states must ensure that its proposals for the current talks in Copenhagen enable the deployment of biotechnology to these ends.” De Greef underlined the need to define strong domestic emission caps, covering all major economies and all sectors of the economy. “This will ensure that the carbon benefits of biotechnology are properly priced into deployment decisions by companies, or by governments who are considering its application.” Additionally, EuropaBio called on the development of offset markets to encourage emission reductions through the application of biotechnology. According to the industry association, intellectual property rights for biotechnology and other low carbon technologies must be protected to allow the technologies to be further developed. Policy makers must also encourage investment in research and technology, said De Greef, to ensure that innovation and creativity are adequately funded, from discovery through to economic deployment.