The bioeconomy goes global
26.11.2015 - Bioeconomy movers and shakers from every corner of the globe met this week at the world’s first Global Bioeconomy Summit in Berlin to discuss, debate and define better ways to ensure the bioeconomy succeeds on an international level.
The event took place in Berlin from 25th to 26th November and was organised by the German Bioeconomy Council. “The bioeconomy is a key to sustainable, 'green' growth, which is driven by innovation. For this we need international coordination and fair rules. Here the Global Bioeconomy Summit will give important impetus,” says Christine Lang, co-chairman of the Council. The advisory body to the federal government is the organiser of the summit, with Chancellor Angela Merkel assuming patronage. More than 700 participants from 82 countries partook in the summit, with international organisations such as the OECD, FAO, the European Commission and the International Energy Agency IEA presenting and holding their own workshops and roundtables during the event.
One of the topics dissussed is the use of renewable resources and their contribution to sustainable development. In his opening speech, Joachim von Braun, Co- Chair of the Bioeconomy Council said “An increasingly biobased economy supports harmony between man and nature in a world that is heading towards a population of more than 9 billion and is affected by climate change and hunger.” The German Government also attaches great importance to the bioeconomy has introduced measures towards the implementation of a national bioeconomy. Johanna Wanka, Germany’s Minister for Education and Research, emphasises, “The National Research Strategy BioEconomy 2030 is an important part of the German Government’s Sustainable Development Strategy. It supports innovations in the production and use of renewable resources. From an international perspective it helps drive forward sustainable economic and ecological solutions that lead to increased income and higher social standards. This helps to stabilise societies.”
The aim of the Global Bioeconomy Summit is to find out the level of importance the bioeconomy already possesses on the world political map. Daniel Barben, member of the conference committee for the launch of a global agenda process, says, “The potential contribution of the bioeconomy was largely underestimated in the recent negotiations on the Sustainable Development Goals and the climate change dialogue.”
45 countries have already integrated the bioeconomy in their political strategy and launched scientific and political programs. Industrialised countries in Europe and North America see the bioeconomy mainly as an opportunity to develop innovative biobased products and processes, and to open up new markets. Emerging economies such as Brazil are investing in the construction of entire branches of industry. Developing countries will have the chance of economic participation within a fair international trade framework and of collaborative partnerships for technology transfer. In addition to presenting a comparative analysis of the global political bioeconomy at the summit, the Bioeconomy Council will publish its international Delphi study on the lead projects of the bioeconomy.