Directionality and diversity: Contending policy rationales in the transition towards the bioeconomy
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Original versionScordato, L., Bugge, M. M. & Fevolden, A. M. (2019). Directionality and diversity: Contending policy rationales in the transition towards the bioeconomy. In A. Klitkou, A. M. Fevolden & M. Capasso (Eds.), From Waste to Value: Valorisation Pathways for Organic Waste Streams in Circular Bioeconomies (233-252). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
One of the pressing societal challenges today relates to climate change and the need to replace fossil-based inputs with renewable resources in the production of fuel, energy, and chemical compounds. This has resulted in the development of biofuels, such as bioethanol, biodiesel, and biogas; bio-products, such as bio-plastics, bio-chemicals, and bio-pharmaceuticals; and bioenergy, such as electricity and district heating generated at biogas or combustion plants. The magnitude and diversity of these initiatives have led scholars, commentators, and policy-makers to talk about a “bioeconomy” and, subsequently, to call for a more comprehensive policy framework to support and direct this emerging field of the economy. The bioeconomy concept has been embraced by many governments around the world with a view to responding to diverse societal challenges, including not only solving issues related to climate change, but also dealing with areas such as food security, resource efficiency, and health problems (German Bioeconomy Council, 2015; Staffas, Gustavsson, & McCormick, 2013). Nevertheless, it remains unclear what the bioeconomy is, and how it can contribute to achieving these broad and potentially contending policy objectives.