WWF points out that the over-exploitation of fossil fuels - such as coal, gas and oil - is putting the whole of humanity under threat from climate change.
25 Mar 2009
Global environment organization WWF and leading enzyme biotechnology company Novozymes today announced an initiative which will map how and where low carbon biosolutions can eliminate the first strategic billion tonnes of CO2.
“Low carbon biotech solutions are a good example of hidden or invisible climate solutions that are all around us already today but are easily overlooked by policymakers, investors and companies,” said Kim Carstensen, Director of WWF’s Global Climate Initiative.
The biotechnology industry is an important part of the climate solutions the world is in need of because the emissions reductions secured by biotech solutions are factors of magnitude greater than the emissions involved in creating them. Enzymes, for instance, save large amounts of energy when applied to the production of a variety of every day products, such as paper, washing powder and bioethanol.
Last year, Novozymes emitted about one million tonnes of CO2 eq in the production of raw materials and enzymes but helped eliminate around 28 million tonnes of CO2 eq emissions over enzyme free production.
“What we offer our customers is to produce more from less input, use less energy in their processes and generate less waste,” said Steen Riisgaard, CEO of Novozymes.
“Clearly, biotechnology is therefore an important route to securing big emissions cuts while creating succesful business models.”
With only a small portion of the potential of biotech so far realized, the joint Biosolutions Initiative – Eliminating the first billion tonnes of CO2 will seek out key and priority areas where biotechnology solutions can be applied to achieve emissions cuts.
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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.
“So far, the main effort to combat climate change has focused on reducing the negative impact of the big emmitters,” said Carstensen. “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.”
The project aims to contribute to accelerating and exploring the further potential of biotechnology as a crucial part of overall climate solutions.
“Fighting climate change is also about innovation and finding smarter ways to do things, and biotechnology helps us do just that,” said Carstensen.
The project will also identify how to best deploy emerging bio-solutions .
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," said Riisgaard.
"Together with WWF we want to inspire decision makers in building low carbon solutions for our society."