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New effort says biotech key to low-carbon future

lab-workNovozymes and WWF are launching a climate programme that focuses on the use of biotechnology to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

“Biosolutions Initiative: Eliminating the First Billion Tonnes of CO2” maps out how and where biotechnology can pave the way toward a low-carbon and green economy. The organisations say biotech is key because its applications reduce far more emissions than they produce.

For example, Novozymes says its enzyme production emitted 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent last year, but helped reduce overall emissions by about 28 million tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent.

“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 Kim Christensen, director of WWF’s Global Climate Initiative. “Fighting climate change is also about innovation and finding smarter ways to do things, and biotechnology help us do just that. Accelerating and exploring the further potential of this industry is a crucial part of the climate solutions we are looking for.”

In addition to setting out a roadmap for achieving carbon reductions through biotechnology, the Biosolutions Initiative will also engage in dialogue with policy-makers and create low-carbon business partnerships to ensure that biotech solutions become an integrated part of major climate projects and programmes.

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