Availability of sustainable biomass in Europe: framework conditions and projections from 2030- 2050

Calliope Panoutsou

Calliope Panoutsou (PhD), Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London

Summary:  Sustainable biomass supply has been highly debated, both at the scientific and at the political levels, for almost two decades with controversial arguments. Some stakeholders strongly support the development of biomass value chains to deliver renewable raw materials, boost economic growth and rural development and increase farm income. Others however express overwhelming concerns about the risks that unsustainable practices for producing and using biomass can cause to the already vulnerable planetary boundaries and finite natural resources such as land and water. This presentation discusses the availability of sustainable biomass in Europe and presents recent projections for 2030 and 2050.  The work includes an analysis of conditions and assumptions under which the biomass potential can be sustainably optimised and contribute to human capital and welfare within safe planetary boundaries, without causing any other negative impacts (e.g. preserving high nature value areas, maintaining and improving biodiversity, reducing the use of arable land as well as the use of fertilisers and other chemical inputs).

Speaker: Calliope Panoutsou (PhD) is a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Environmental Policy at Imperial College London, the Chair of Biomass availability and supply in the European Technology and Innovation Platform for Bioenergy (http://www.etipbioenergy.eu/) and a member of the Scientific Committee of the Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking (https://www.bbi-europe.eu/). Her work integrates natural sciences with economic and socio-economic approaches and policy analysis. She is currently leading research on how biomass can be integrated into climate and energy policies in the European Green Deal.  She has acted as advisor to the Office of National Statistics for the inclusion of bioeconomy data and indicators to the National Materials Datahub; the International Energy Agency for biomass, bioenergy and biofuels; United Nations, World Bank, Nordforsk for bioeconomy research in Scandinavia; and has recently co-authored the publications of the Joint Research Center (JRC) of the European Commission on Future transitions for the Bioeconomy towards Sustainable Development and a Climate-Neutral Economy.

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