Brussels, 28 March 2024 - The European Commission published its Communication on biotechnology and biomanufacturing, setting a milestone and highlighting the potential of the sector in paving the way for EU’s green transition and competitiveness.
Biotechnology and biomanufacturing offer solutions for societal and environmental challenges such as climate change, resource sustainability, food security, and human health. They enhance economic competitiveness, reduce dependency on fossil fuels, align with the European Green Deal goals and drive the bioeconomy. While the EU possesses strong talent and resources in biotech, fostering regulatory support and financing is crucial for its growth and competitiveness.
BioChem Europe welcomes the review the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) to ensure fair comparison between fossil-based and bio-based products. In the current PEF methodology, no recognised benefit is granted to the producers of biomass-derived products, compared to fossil ones. However, by giving CO2 removals credits to biomass when produced and giving CO2 penalty to all CO2 (bio-based and fossil) when it is released back to the atmosphere (1), and by showing the emissions and removals alongside the time periods in the scope of the calculations, would show the data in a transparent and meaningful way. This will enable customers and consumers to make an informed purchasing decision, based on the demonstrated and transparent climate benefits of bio-based solutions.
We welcome the Commission's proposal to encourage more private and public investment in the biotech and biomanufacturing sector, through its inclusion as part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) accelerator Work Programme 2025.
BioChem Europe members will continue to engage in the discussions in view of the upcoming review of the EU Bioeconomy Strategy, trusting it will take into consideration the societal, environmental and economic challenges and will empower the European bioeconomy sector, by creating a supportive regulatory framework including a strong cascading use principle, bring more investments to Europe and stimulate a market demand (2).
(1) Joint call for an accurate biogenic carbon accounting in the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF), here.
(2) Cefic position paper: Delivering the bioeconomy agenda for 2024 and beyond