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Novozymes for using existing tech to combat climate change
Dec '15
The battle against climate change can be won by using existing technologies, establishing carbon pricing mechanisms, and phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, says global biotech major Novozymes.

“Solutions exist for many of the problems we face – it's about the political courage and long-term vision to implement them,” said CEO Peder Holk Nielsen, who is leading the Denmark-based Novozymes' delegation at COP21, in Paris.

“We urgently need a meaningful cost on carbon emissions, designed to effectively alter our behavior, guide our decisions and incentivize solutions.”

One of the areas with much room for improvement is the transport sector. There are one billion cars on the planet today and transport accounts for 25 per cent of energy-related CO2 equivalent. By 2050, it is estimated that there will be almost three billion cars on the roads.

Biofuel is the only existing liquid alternative to fossil fuels available at scale today, and holds the potential to provide 30 per cent of all transportation fuels by 2050 – with cellulosic biofuels from waste and agricultural residues reducing emissions by 80-90 per cent compared to petrol.

“Stable, long-term policies such as biofuel blending mandates are critical to the successful deployment of these low-carbon fuel technologies that should be a core component of each country's climate strategy,” said Nielsen. “It is critical to reduce emissions significantly within this sector to remain below the 2°C global temperature rise.”

According to data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), fossil fuels benefit from global subsidies of some $436bn every year. Ending these inefficient subsidies is an obvious step to cut global carbon emissions. Along with carbon pricing mechanisms, this will enable the global economy to move towards a level playing field on energy costs by internalizing part of the external costs of using energy. This can help diversify energy sources and ensure that low-carbon technologies are properly valued.

According to Nielsen, “Phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies and pricing CO2 emissions will show the true cost of climate change and create a level playing field for renewable alternatives.”

Last year, Novozymes' biological solutions – notably in industrial processes such as agriculture, bioenergy and consumer products such as detergents – helped reduce its customers' emissions by 60 million tons of CO2. That is equivalent to taking 25 million cars off the road. By 2020, Novozymes is committed to save the world 100 million tons of CO2 a year through customers applying its products, while also reaching six billion people with biological products. Novozymes has also promised to deliver 10 transformative innovations that really change the lives of many people and fulfill ambitious sustainability goals. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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