Biotechnology crucial to solving the climate crisis

New initiative by Novozymes and WWF sets out to map how and where low carbon biosolutions can eliminate the first billion tonnes of CO 2 and pave the way to a green economy.

The climate crisis has made it more urgent than ever to find a sustainable way of developing our society. So far, the main effort to combat climate change has focused on reducing the negative impact of the big emmitters. While important, this neither secures all the reductions needed nor does it provide a sustainable economic model for creating jobs, growth and a prosperous society.

From improvements to solutions
This makes it imperative that world leaders grasp the opportunities of a low carbon economy, and support and boost the business and industry that provide us with the low carbon solutions, the world is in urgent need for.

The biotechnology industry is such an opportunity because the reductions secured by biotech solutions greatly outnumbers the emissions from its production. Looking at only one specific technology, the enzyme production of Novozymes emitted 1 million tonnes of CO2 eq last year – but in total helped reduce around 28 million tonnes of CO2 eq. This is because enzymes save large amounts of energy when applied to the production of a varity of every day products, such as paper, washing powder and bioethanol.

With this climate positive balancesheet the biotechnology industry is set to become a winner in a new low carbon economy. It is an important part of the solutions needed to secure big emmissions cuts while creating succesfull business models. And we have only seen the tip of the iceberg. Today, only a small part of the potential of biotech is realized.

The ‘invisible’ solution
Coming together in the Biosolutions Initiative – Eliminating the first billion tonnes of CO2, WWF and Novozymes now set out to change this:

“Low carbon biotech solutions are a good example of hidden or invisible climate solutions that are all around us already today but are easy to overlook for policymakers, investors and companies. Fighting climate change is also about innovation and finding smarter ways to do things, and biotechnology help us do just that. Accelerating and exploring the further potential of this industry is a crucial part of the climate solutions we are looking for.” says, Kim Carstensen, Director of WWF’s Global Climate Initiative.

“Novozymes is committed to improve and develop biotech solutions in the pursuit of a sustainable global economy. What we offer our customers is to produce more from less input, use less energy in their processes and generate less waste. In order to unlock the full potential of biotechnology, policy makers need to integrate low carbon biotech solutions as part of all major climate strategies. Together with WWF we want to inspire decision makers in building low carbon solutions for our society.” says, Steen Riisgaard, CEO of Novozymes.

NOTE:
The Bio Solutions Initiative – Eliminating the first billion tonnes of CO2 will map the first strategic billion tonnes of CO2 reductions from low carbon biotechnology. The partnership will also engage in dialogue with central policy makers and create low carbon business partnerships to ensure that low carbon bio tech solutions become an integrated part of all major climate projects and initiatives.