The United Nations Environment Programme-International Ecosystem Management Partnership (UNEP-IEMP) held its sixth Climate-Ecosystems-Livelihoods seminar titled “Carbon Neutral and Bio-based Economy” online on 29 September 2022. The seminar was given by Dr. Yutao Wang, Professor of Department of Environmental Science and Engineering of Fudan University, Deputy Dean of Shanghai Institute of Energy and Carbon Neutralization Strategy, and Deputy Director of Fudan Tyndall Center, and facilitated by Linxiu Zhang, Director of UNEP-IEMP. Nearly 200 researchers, students, and others attended the seminar.
Based on the current global threat of climate change and the goal of carbon neutrality, Prof. Wang introduced the concept, classification, and development status of biomass resources, bio-based products, and bio-based economy respectively, which triggered the thinking of the sustainability of bio-based economy. Based on the existing research and literature, Prof. Wang introduced the research on the sustainability of bio-based economy for carbon neutrality from five dimensions: ‘path, cycle, resilience, coupling, and game’. At the path level, he stated the carbon neutrality transformation pathways of the traditional bio-based industry, taking the papermaking industry as an example. At the cycle level, he emphasized the analyses of conventional and bio-based materials (products) from whole life cycle perspective. At the resilience level, the sustainability of food systems for climate disasters and environmental risks is described, and the sustainability of marine food systems is discussed in combination with hot events such as the Fukushima nuclear wastewater discharge plan. At the coupling level, he pointed out the correlation and feedback effects of biomass energy development on water resources, land use, and food security. At the game level, he discussed the competition between food supply and bioenergy in the context of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Finally, he proposed research prospects from the perspectives of environmental impact assessment of emerging technologies (products), the impact of climate change on biomass resources, and the impact of temporal and spatial changes of biomass resources on economic and social systems.
Online academic lecture
During the interactive session, Prof. Wang and the participants had in-depth exchanges on data collection, scenario analysis methods, promotion of bio-based products, and trade security etc.
The development of bio-based economy is an important way to achieve carbon neutrality goals and sustainable development. It is also a core issue of UNEP-IEMP's Flagship Programme on Climate, Ecosystems, and Livelihoods (CEL) to adopt integrated approaches to achieve win-win of ecosystem protection and livelihood improvement. The seminar increased the understanding and thinking about the sustainability of the bio-based economy, build a platform for interdisciplinary academic exchanges, and strengthened the communication between UNEP-IEMP and the institutions and universities in China.