Expectations that the bioeconomy can help fulfil these aims have developed over the past 30 years largely in response to increased concern over enhancing competitiveness in the world market, but also achieving climate- and energy-related objectives to make the transition from a fossil fuels-based economy to a renewables- and bio-based economy.

This transition faces substantial challenges and turning points, which this brief addresses. It focuses particularly on the EU, as one of the global and regional leaders on bioeconomy, but it includes evidence from other world regions as well.

The authors conclude that the bioeconomy has an important role to play in achieving the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, and the related targets have become central to the discussions of governments, businesses, research and education organizations, and the general public. These discussions about the role of the bioeconomy indicate that initiatives require not just goodwill but, above all, the development of matching managing instruments, mature sectoral policies and a broad socio-economic consensus.