Europe urgently needs to decarbonise all sectors of its economy as well as create high-quality durable jobs and growth. In the transport- and industry sector, biofuels have a vital role in meeting both of these goals.
“A European bioeconomy can help Europe deliver on the Paris Agreement targets and lay the foundation for new growth,” says Scania’s President and CEO Henrik Henriksson.
At a conference in Oslo organised by the Xynteo leadership platform, Henriksson announced a partnership with Xynteo to explore the full potential for biofuels and the wider bioeconomy in Europe. The aim is to identify the barriers that are limiting their growth and by acting together – business, policymakers, innovators and civil society – to weaken these barriers and realise opportunities.
“We’re delighted to be partnering with Scania in this vital project,” says Osvald Bjelland, Chairman and CEO, Xynteo.
“We now have ten years to bend the curve“
Henriksson notes that the most recent climate report shows that a 2°C global warming rather than 1.5°C would mean a duplication of damage to the planet. “We now have ten years to bend the curve of global CO2 emissions and ensure that they start to decline instead of rising. This means we need to start acting, now,” he emphasises.
Electrification – and digitalisation – will play a vital role in decarbonising transport. The rapid development of battery electric vehicles and infrastructure can offer viable solutions also for heavy transports in 10–15 years’ time. “But given the sense of urgency we don’t have the time to wait ten years. We quickly need to deploy the biofuel solutions for CO2 free transport that are already at hand.”
Trust in biofuels is low in Europe
However, despite decades of high expectations, policy action and investment, trust in biofuels is low in Europe. To move beyond this impasse, policymakers, business, consumers and civil society need to develop a new comprehensive vision for the bioeconomy as a whole. It is now time for a new approach and this initiative will highlight the potential for sustainable high-quality growth and decarbonisation.
Scania already offers the broadest range of vehicles to use with commercially available biofuels that can offer up 90 percent reduction of carbon emissions. “I see a large potential for Europe and for the rest of the world. In Sweden, renewable fuels already account for one-fifth of heavy transport fuel usage,” says Henriksson.