Industrial biotechnology may sharply cut CO2 emissions - WWF

18 September 2009 17:18  [Source: ICIS news]

BRUSSELS (ICIS news)--Industrial biotechnology could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2.5bn tonnes/year, according to a report published by the environmental group World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on Friday.

The report claimed that industrial biotechnology solutions have the potential to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 1bn-2.5bn tonnes/year by 2030.

Current biotechnology solutions globally already avoid the creation of 33m tonnes/year of CO2 (excluding ethanol use), while emitting 2m tonnes/year of CO2, said the report.

CO2 savings could be increased rapidly if the technology were put into wider use, according to the report.

For example, if existing biotechnology solutions were used throughout the food industry today, they would save 114m-166m tonnes/year of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the WWF.

A further 52m tonnes/year of greenhouse gas emissions could be saved if existing biotechnology solutions were used extensively in other tra­ditional industries, such as detergent, textile, and pulp and paper manufacturing, insisted the report.

“Low-carbon biotech solutions are a good example of hidden or invisible climate solutions that are all around us already today but are easy to overlook for policymakers, investors and companies, ” said John Kornerup Bang, head of WWF Denmark’s globalisation programme and co-author of the report.

He underlined the need for private and public funding to stimulate the industry, and for “politicians to set the path toward a green economy”.

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By: Philippa Jones
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