UFZ EnergyDays 2016 - Session A3

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From energy transition to bioeconomy –

Challenges for the governance of sustainable material flows

Coordinators and chairpersons: Erik Gawel , Nina Hagemann , Wolfgang Köck


The energy transition is already regarded as a great challenge for long-term sustainability governance between market and state. The challenge is even greater for the bioeconomy with its sustainability orientation of all material flows (raw materials, biomass, water, waste, energy etc.) within an integrated future oriented system.
In contrast to already established policy fields such as energy, environment and climate policies, which are to be activated for the energy transition, bioeconomy policy is not yet an established policy field – at best it is a highly fragmented policy field that is shaped by a small group of actors. Moreover, it focuses mainly on research and development and here technological research dominates.
The aim of the session is to focus on the policy and research field bioeconomy from a social science perspective and address the societal challenges of sustainable material flow governance. Based on the experiences from the energy transition the following questions will be discussed:

  1. Which criteria are to be fulfilled by the bioeconomy to contribute to create a social added value?
  2. What are the challenges and advantages provided by the current governance framework for the biobased economy and what are suitable instruments and governance architectures for the regulation between market and state? What are features of an adaptive governance architecture that supports the transition towards an environmental friendly and sustainable economy?
  3. How to secure sustainability of state governed material flows? How can the increasing competition for the use of biomass be controlled in a targeted manner? What are lessons learnt from experiences with the bioenergy promotion and how can they become effective for the bioeconomy?
  4. How can the demand for bio-based products and a balanced bioeconomy policy be increased to support the sustainable path transition?
  5. What is the role of other large scale transition concepts such as the green economy?

Programme (Please note: The session language is German!)

11:30 - 11:35 Welcome and introduction
Erik Gawel
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
11:35 - 12:55 Short presentations:
  Bioeconomy – Opportunity for a sustainable society?
Steffi Ober
Naturschutzbund Deutschland e.V. - NABU
  Challenges to sustainable biomass supply
Iris Lewandowski
University of Hohenheim
  Economic and legal challenges of the transition towards a sustainable wood-based bioeconomy
Erik Gawel
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
  Sustainability evaluation tools as governance instruments in the bioeconomy
Roland Essel
nova-Institute GmbH
12:55 - 13:30 Discussion
Chaired by Wolfgang Köck
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ