New National Bioeconomy Action Plan Published to Support Ireland’s Climate Neutrality Goal
A new national Bioeconomy Action Plan has been unveiled today by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, and the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan. The plan aims to support Ireland’s goal of becoming “climate neutral” by 2050 and highlights new opportunities for the agriculture, horticulture, and forestry sectors.
The Bioeconomy Action Plan outlines how the bioeconomy can help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the agri-food system. Minister McConalogue explains that the bioeconomy can replace fossil-based resources with biological alternatives, such as biofertilisers, biopesticides, new food sources, bio-plastics, textiles, and bio waste management solutions.
Minister McConalogue emphasizes that the bioeconomy offers a wide range of new opportunities, business models, and value chains for the agriculture, food, forest, and marine sectors. He also mentions that the Food Vision 2023 initiative has committed to placing the agri-food sector firmly in the circular regenerative bioeconomy. The initiative encourages the examination of raw material use and circularity among different supply chains and waste flows from the food industry. It also promotes the scaling up of circular and low carbon solutions based on renewable energy and the circular use of sustainable resources.
The opportunities presented by the bioeconomy include utilizing grass for producing new sources of protein and fiber, converting timber into composite wood products, and using seaweed as ingredients in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical sectors.
The Bioeconomy Action Plan consists of 33 actions spread across seven pillars: Governance and awareness; Research, development, and innovation; Nature, climate, energy, and the circular economy; Agriculture, food, forestry, and the marine; Communities, regions, and cities; Industry and enterprise; and Knowledge and skills.
Both Minister McConalogue and Minister Ryan emphasize that the new action plan will focus on bringing sustainable scientific practices, technologies, and biobased innovation into use on farms. Minister McConalogue also highlights that the publication of the action plan coincides with the recent adoption of a set of Council Conclusions on the bioeconomy by European agriculture ministers. These conclusions emphasize the key role that the bioeconomy can play in achieving environmental and climate goals, improving competitiveness, transitioning away from fossil fuels, and strengthening food security.
The Bioeconomy Action Plan sets out a clear roadmap for Ireland to harness the potential of the bioeconomy and contribute to its climate neutrality goals. With a strong focus on sustainable practices and innovation, the plan aims to transform the agriculture, horticulture, and forestry sectors and create new opportunities for economic growth and environmental sustainability.
As Ireland continues its journey towards a greener and more sustainable future, the bioeconomy will play a crucial role in driving innovation, reducing emissions, and creating a circular and resilient economy. The publication of the Bioeconomy Action Plan marks an important milestone in Ireland’s commitment to tackle climate change and build a more sustainable and prosperous future for all.