The review of the 2012 EU Bioeconomy Strategy and its Action Plan published by the Commission reveals a need to improve policy coherence and stability of the investment environment to better attract private money to the Union. The current policy context, with the UN Sustainable Development goals, the Paris Agreement, the Circular Economy Package, the post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy and the Industrial Policy Strategy, shows the need for a sustainable circular bioeconomy.
In the context of the discussions on the EU bioeconomy, CEPF launched its new position paper on the update of the EU Bioeconomy Strategy and took active part in several events on the topic.
On 16 November, the EU Bioeconomy Policy Day took place in Brussels, announcing the outcomes of the review on the Bioeconomy Strategy and discussing how to move the Bioeconomy forward. The European Commission Directorate-Generals (DG) organised parallel sessions, where many interesting examples of the bioeconomy were presented. The voice of private forest owners was given by CEPF Secretary General Emma Berglund in the session organised by DG Climate Action.
On 7 December, the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI-JU) Stakeholder’s Forum was organised, highlighting the roles of Public Private Partnerships as suitable platforms to enhance cooperation and uptake of innovation. Mr Juha Hakkarainen from the Finnish Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK) represented CEPF in the panel discussion. His key message was the importance of inclusion of forest owners to different structures of the bioeconomy. Primary producers are the first enablers of the bioeconomy and thus, they should be better integrated to e.g. the EU Bioeconomy Strategy and its actions, such as BBI-JU.
On 14 December, the Bioeconomy Investment Summit was organised in Helsinki, Finland. The event gathered high-level speakers from across the globe to share their views on how we can bring together the economy and the environment. The Summit discussed the potential the bioeconomy has to offer in building a sustainable future, and how to mobilize investments to unlock that potential.
Prior the Summit on 13 December, CEPF Secretary General Emma Berglund participated in a media workshop organised by the European Forest Institute. The workshop gathered together journalists from all over the world to discuss with stakeholders and policy-makers on the role of media in communicating about the bioeconomy. The Finnish Minister for Housing, Energy and the Environment, Mr Kimmo Tiilikainen explained the government’s views on the bioeconomy and pointed to the important fact that “the bioeconomy gives value to trees and encourages people to take care of forests”.
The Summit also offered the participants the opportunity to see bioeconomy in action with a visit the largest ever European forest industry investment (1.2 billion EUR) – the Metsä Group Äänekoski bioproduct mill.