Unfolding the Future – 2050 Roadmap to a Low-carbon Bio-economy
The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) unfolded the future when launching their 2050 Roadmap to a low-carbon bio-economy.
The roadmap attempts to lay out the future of the forest fibre industry and its potential to meet future consumer demands, stay competitive and deliver a CO2 emission reduction. This initiative addresses the European Commission roadmap, which modeled an overall industrial reduction of 80% in CO2 by 2050. The CEPI roadmap explores the technical, financial and resource constraints that lie ahead, and the policy framework that will be needed to tackle them.
The forest fibre industry has the ambition to be at the heart of the 2050 bio-economy, an essential platform for a range of bio-based products and the recycling society. The industry is expected to grow in line with EU GDP, by about 1.5% a year for the next 40 years. The future sector will be a cluster of more and more integrated activities and industries.
Carbon reduction can only be achieved with a technology push
The exploration shows that a reduction of 50 percent CO2 by 2050 is possible given the right circumstances, based on investment patterns and available and emerging technologies. To achieve an 80% CO2 reduction, however, it will need breakthrough technologies. These have to be developed and available by 2030.
The forest fibre industry has a much broader carbon profile than simply one of direct and indirect emitter. Its products can substitute for carbon-intensive fossil fuel-based products, whether for construction, fuel, chemicals, packaging or other purposes. And it works within Europe’s forests, which, when sustainably managed, store carbon.
Although the 2050 future is far away and today’s economy changes on an almost daily basis, the time to act is short. The 40 years ahead comprise only two investment cycles for a capital intensive industry; in other words, “2050 is two paper machines away”. Policymakers and industry have few opportunities to make crucial choices.
“This roadmap is the start of a debate. It aims to contribute to the discussion on the future policies of the European Commission and member states”, explained Teresa Presas, CEPI Director General. “It is not an action plan. Uncertainties in modeling the economy are too great to simply translate a 2050 modeled future into an action plan. It is however a holistic exploration into the future of our sector; it’s an industry pathway”, she adds.
More details at www.unfoldthefuture.eu