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The Route to Sustainability-Prospects and Challenges of the Bio-Based Economy
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
Number of Authors: 2
2017 (English)In: Sustainability, ISSN 2071-1050, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 9, no 6, 887Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The bio-based economy has been increasingly recognized in the sustainability debate over the last two decades, presented as a solution to a number of ecological and social challenges. Its premises include climate change mitigation, cleaner production processes, economic growth, and new employment opportunities. Yet, a transition to a bio-based economy is hampered by risk factors and uncertainties. In this paper, we explore the concept of a bio-based economy, focusing on opportunities of achieving sustainability, as well as challenges of a transition. Departing from an understanding of sustainability provided by the weak and strong sustainability paradigms, we first outline the definition and development of the bio-based economy from a theoretical perspective. Second, we use Sweden as an example of how a transition towards a bio-based economy has been evolving in practice. The review indicates that the proposed direction and strategies of the bio-based economy are promising, but sometimes contradictory, resulting in different views on the actions needed for its premises to be realized. Additionally, current developments adhere largely to the principles of the weak sustainability paradigm. In order for the bio-based economy to develop in accordance with the notion of strong sustainability, important steps to facilitate a transition would include acknowledging and addressing the trade-offs caused by biophysical and social limits to growth.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 9, no 6, 887
Keyword [en]
bio-based economy, bio-economy, societal transitions, sustainability paradigms, social-ecological systems, GREEN & SUSTAINABLE SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-145234DOI: 10.3390/su9060887ISI: 000404133200018OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-145234DiVA: diva2:1128757
Available from: 2017-07-28 Created: 2017-07-28 Last updated: 2017-07-28Bibliographically approved

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Bennich, ThereseBelyazid, Salim
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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