Novozymes at the IARU Conference: The world needs to rethink tomorrow - today

The IARU climate change conference in Copenhagen clearly shows that the climate problems are already here. The newest research was presented to make sure that the UN panel on Climate Change (IPCC) bases their calculations on a valid foundation.

Novozymes will strive to make this December’s COP 15 protocol as ambitious as possible, by focusing on using existing and near technologies to make a positive difference in the fight against climate change.

 

Copenhagen has just hosted the International Association of Research Universities (IARU) conference on climate change. The milestone event was organized by The University of Copenhagen and attracted researchers, businesses and media from around the world. Novozymes was one of its key sponsors and contributed with a number of scientists presenting research in support of biotechnology.

 

IARU decided to hold the conference as the recent research shows that climate changes are happening faster than expected in the older research which politicians are still basing their policymaking on and which is also used by the press.

 

Disturbing news, challenging messages
A large number of the keynote speakers and esteemed scientists gave strong warnings over the outlook for climate change. According to Nickie Spile, Vice President of Novozymes in Europe, there are a number of conclusions to be drawn from the IARU Conference:

“The scientific community is committed as never before to ensuring that politicians, the public and the media have access to the latest information on climate change. Many opening speakers warned against the risk of so-called popular science leading to misunderstanding of the critical problems the planet faces.”

In line with this, the conference presented some clear examples of problems with rising sea levels and concluded that these are much worse than expected.

We need to use existing technology today
The IARU scientists also concluded that we simply have to use existing technology to begin dealing with climate change today. We do not have the time to wait five or ten years for new technology to be invented. In fact, rather than waiting, smaller changes made today will have a bigger positive effect in the future.

One of the technologies already available today is biotechnology which can make a huge contribution all around the world. One example is biofuel. Made from biomass and using enzymes, biofuel can drastically reduce C02 emissions from transportation, as well as decrease our dependency on carbon intensive fuels such as oil. The potential of biofuels will be even greater as of next year as Novozymes makes continued progress in helping deliver 2nd generation biofuels.


Rethink tomorrow

As a very concrete outcome of the conference, IARU will publish a short policy recommendations document in June 2009. The document is designed to act as a general summary towards politicians, the public and the media in the run up to COP 15.

Last year alone Novozymes’ biotechnological solutions reduced the global C02 emissions by 28 million tons – corresponding to the yearly emissions from approximately seven million cars.

“As a company we will work together with scientists and politicians as COP 15 approaches to ensure that all stakeholders have the right knowledge at the right time. This will help to increase the chances that COP 15 agrees on an ambitious protocol, and position biotechnology as one of the solutions to climate change,” says Nickie Spile.