Meeting Policy Challenges for a Sustainable Bioeconomy

image of Meeting Policy Challenges for a Sustainable Bioeconomy

This publication investigates key aspects surrounding the sustainability of bioeconomy development: the use of biomass as feedstock for future production;  the design and building of biorefineries for the manufacture of a range of fuels, chemicals and materials, and also for electricity generation; and the use of biotechnologies such as synthetic biology, metabolic engineering and gene editing.

Today more than 50 countries have a dedicated bioeconomy strategy or related policies. While the bioeconomy is consistent with sustainability policy (examples are the circular economy, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, green growth, re-industrialisation, rural regeneration, climate change mitigation), synergies must be ensured to avoid over-exploitation of natural resources and conflicting global needs.



The bioeconomy concept

Then and now

The bioeconomy concept is expanding rapidly. Around 50 countries, including the G7, have either a national strategy or policies consistent with a future bioeconomy. While many published strategies have laudable goals for solving large societal problems, they lack policy detail. Moreover, the bioeconomy concept means different things in different nations. As a result, gathering comparable metrics is becoming a real challenge. For these reasons, a policy framework for a bioeconomy would be useful for countries to identify their relative strengths and weaknesses, fill policy gaps and understand the bigger picture for the international bioeconomy. This chapter provides an overview for such a framework.


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