A new group of 14 EU trade associations including the providers of quality wood-based products, fibre-based, paper and board products and packaging, and renewable energy solutions, supported by EU forest owners and managers, has launched a cross-sectoral coalition. Its aim is to present EU policymakers with a common vision ahead of 2030, leading to a transition towards a circular bioeconomy.
The coalition has made a paper detailing common challenges, needs, and solutions public. It is also supported by six associations linked to the forestry sector.
This is said to be the broadest coalition representing these value chains. Jointly, its members represent 3% of the EU’s GDP, €520bn in turnover, and 20% of its manufacturing companies. They are an integrated part of the EU bioeconomy, using local renewably-sourced materials, made and recycled in Europe, and using European technology. They hope to work with the EU institutions towards creating an enabling policy environment for sectors to collectively reach climate change mitigation equivalent to 30% of EU annual CO2 emissions. In 2019, this figure stood at 20%.
The coalition’s ambition will require consolidating the EU’s global leadership as a provider of competitive alternative solutions. Europe’s wood and fibre-based value chains are considered a laboratory for the future circular bioeconomy.
In order to be climate neutral by 2050, EU needs to work with the coalition to accelerate the uptake of bio-products, encourage investments in green technologies for production processes and supply chains, and support a shift towards sustainable consumption while putting in place policies to boost the competitiveness of manufacturing industries.
The competitiveness of this industry has been impacted by the energy crunch and issues related to the supply of strategic raw materials. Wood-based products, fibre-based paper and board products and packaging, and renewable energy solutions ensure European strategic autonomy via the management of sources of valuable raw materials, and secondary raw materials and technology.
EPF chairman Martin Brettenthaler said: “Wood-based panels are integral using materials for furniture, construction, packaging and in multiple everyday applications. We urge policy makers to work with us to place industry, especially the circular bioeconomy, at the heart of this social, economic and environmental transition.”