The EU and China are two of the three biggest economies and trading blocs in the world, and their economic and trade relations are increasingly interlinked. China’s role as an export destination for forest products made in the EU, as a potential source or destination of capital for developing the forest-based sector, and as Europe’s key partner in climate change mitigation has increased in importance, especially in the last decade.
A new study from EFI provides the first systematic assessment of the potential challenges, possibilities for the future and policy implications for Europe-China forest-based bioeconomy development. While a sustainable circular bioeconomy has been recognized and discussed in Europe, for example in the European Commission’s EU bioeconomy strategy in 2018, the bioeconomy is still a new concept in China.
China is by far the largest global producer and consumer country of concrete, steel, coal, paper and oil-based products like polyester fibre and plastic. A shift from a fossil fuel-based economy to a greener, more circular, and less carbon intensive economy is needed, if China is to succeed in its aim of making its economy climate neutral within the next 40 years (by 2060). Technologies, products, and supportive policies are needed to support these objectives in all economic frontiers.
Dialogue and cooperation on green development between the EU and China has deepened under the EU-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership which embraced its 17th anniversary in 2020. In 2018, China and the European Commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Circular Economy Cooperation. Further cooperation within the area of bioeconomy could contribute to China’s sustainable development and provide important market opportunities for bioeconomy sectors in the EU in the coming decades. Read more here.
China-Europe Forest Bioeconomy: Assessment and Outlook. From Science to Policy 11 is freely downloadable here: https://doi.org/10.36333/fs11