The main determinants of changes in biomass extraction: the decomposition analysis approach

Environ Dev Sustain. 2022 May 6:1-17. doi: 10.1007/s10668-022-02383-7. Online ahead of print.


Sustainability is highlighted in renewed European Union (EU) bioeconomy strategy. Sustainable bioeconomy requires improvement in the productivity level of bioresources, which is included in almost all national bioeconomy strategies. However, the aspects of sustainable bioeconomy were analyzed rather scarcely. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to reveal how productivity (or conversely, intensity) level contributes to the changes in biomass extraction in all EU countries. Applying the decomposition of impact (I), population, (P), affluence, (A); and technology (IPAT) approach, the results showed that in separate EU countries and analyzed periods, the changes in biomass extraction were different. During the period of economic growth (2000-2007) and transition (2008-2012), biomass extraction decreased in more than half of all EU countries. The decline of value added in the agriculture sector and/or reduction in biomass intensity level were the main determinants of these changes. Meanwhile, during the bioeconomy strategy period (2013-2018), the reduction in biomass extractions was observed in only six EU countries. During this period, the productivity level of biomass increased and offset the economic and population growth only in Greece, Italy and Malta. Thus, due to advanced technologies in these countries, the economy grew but biomass extraction decreased. Meanwhile, in Estonia, Germany and Poland, despite the reduction in value added in the agriculture sector, the growth of the intensity level of biomass determined the increase in extraction of biomass. Therefore, this study showed that achievement of sustainable bioeconomy principles in the majority of EU countries remains a great challenge, and countries should make all efforts to enhance the productivity level of biomass.

PMID:35541214 | PMC:PMC9073496 | DOI:10.1007/s10668-022-02383-7


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