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Biotechnology and the sustainable choice
The winning connection

corresponding

CLAUS STIG PEDERSEN
Head of Corporate Sustainability at Novozymes
Novozymes A/S, Krogshoejvej 36, 2880 Bagsvaerd, Denmark

Abstract

As the world is debating how to cut dangerous emissions and come together in international agreement treaties which will help protect the planet from the potentially devastating effects of climate change, innovative technologies on how to reduce our CO2 emissions are invaluable.
In 2015 not many can dispute that the global climate is changing. During the 20th century, the Earth’s average temperature rose by 0.6°C and today only a few people really contest that these changes are due to mankind.
In 2015, COP 21 will be held in Paris with climate changes designated to be the most important issue on the agenda. Limiting global warming to no more than two degrees has become the de facto target for global climate policy. However, there are also serious questions about whether policymakers will be able to keep temperature rises below the limit, and what happens if they don’t.
While climate change remains a challenge for political world leaders seeking to secure the balance between economic growth and climate policies, some companies seek to adapt and develop solutions that can reduce the dependency on fossil fuels and reduce the output of CO2.
Some of these technologies have seen strong governmental incentives; e.g., solar and wind power, while others have flown under the radar. Biotechnology has existed for decades, but in recent years the possibilities of this technology has become widely recognized.


BIOTECHNOLOGY ON THE RADAR

A few years ago, a report published by WWF concluded that industrial biotechnology has the potential to save the planet up to 2.5 billion tons on CO2 emissions per year - more than Germany’s total reported emissions in 1990 - and support building a sustainable future. Link to report. Industrial biotechnology could help create a true 21st century green economy, as the WWF report states (1)
In 2013, industrial biotechnology became extremely visible on the political agenda with the EU Commission proposing a €3.8 billion Public Private Partnership (PPP) on Biobased Industries (2), in order to accelerate the commercialization of biobased products in Europe. The European Commission will invest €1 billion and industry €2.8 billion, from 2014 to 2020, to boost market uptake of new biobased products that are “made in Europe.”
The UN agrees that biotech is key to solving the world’s toughest human challenges. We have also seen China make biotechnology a priority in its recent five-year plan.
Industrial biotechnology applications are widely used in everyday life by people all over the world ...




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