EO Bioeconomy Theme:

Climate Change Solutions


The specter of climate change looms large over our planet's future, posing unprecedented threats to both human civilization and the natural world. Characterized by rising global temperatures, extreme weather events, melting ice caps, and rising sea levels, climate change is not just an environmental issue but a multifaceted challenge impacting every facet of life – from health and agriculture to economics and infrastructure, and global ecosystems. The consequences are far-reaching and alarming. We face increasing incidences of droughts, floods, and hurricanes, loss of biodiversity, and disruptions to food and water supplies, all of which pose serious threats to global stability and wellbeing.

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Addressing climate change through innovation and scientific collaboration.

However, within this crisis lies a significant opportunity, particularly in the realm of biological research and development (R&D). The biological scientific and engineering community is uniquely positioned to contribute significantly to addressing climate change, harnessing innovation to not only mitigate its impacts but also adapt to its realities. Biological approaches are increasingly recognized as a critical tool in the toolbelt for addressing climate change. Indeed, the scope of R&D in addressing climate change through the bioeconomy is vast and includes enabling circularity, renewable energy technologies, sustainable manufacturing, climate-smart agriculture, and carbon sequestration methods, to name just a few areas.

This moment in history is not just a challenge; it is a clarion call to action for scientists and engineers across the globe. The key solution to climate change will undoubtedly emerge from laboratories, research institutions, innovative startups, farms, and mature industries. We can work together to identify ways to shift sectors like energy and food/agriculture from major contributors of greenhouse gas emissions to developers and drivers of solutions.

Call to Action

The CASA-Bio initiative was created to help implement the Bioeconomy Executive Order issued by the White House in September 2022. The EO laid out a vision for government-wide collaboration to advance biotechnology and biomanufacturing through foundational and use-inspired research in five thematic areas: climate change, food and agriculture, supply chain resilience, human health, and the cross-cutting advances. The goal of CASA-Bio is to bring the EO to life.

The first step in the CASA-Bio Action Plan was a set of so-called Alignment Meetings held in December 2023 in which representatives from government funding agencies, industries, and non-profits met and collaborated to identify scientific subthemes of shared interest—within each of the Bioeconomy Executive Order Themes--that we believe have high potential to advance the bioeconomy through innovative R&D. Now, it is time for step two. We invite you, the research community, to view these subthemes and consider how your research ideas could contribute. Your input will serve to help us define synergistic priority research areas that will be subjects of future research community workshops and development of road maps for addressing key challenges to advance the bioeconomy.

Every research project, experiment, or new idea contributes to a larger collective effort in combating this global challenge! Whether your expertise lies in renewable energy, materials science, biology, engineering, or any other field, your contributions are essential, and we welcome them in this process. You have the opportunity, and arguably the responsibility, to direct your skills and knowledge towards one of the most pressing issues of our time.

This is a call to action for the R&D community. Your work can drive us towards a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable world, ensuring a livable planet for future generations. Now is the time to rise to this challenge, to share your expertise and ingenuity toward identifying ways to address this existential threat that transcends borders and disciplines.

Representative Subtheme Challenges:

We need to make use of all available carbon, including waste carbon resources, to meet current demands and overcome bottlenecks that prevent or slow a transition away from fossil inputs.
Although food and agriculture are major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, both at the field level and in downstream production, food and agriculture can be used to create climate solutions.
Biotechnology can be utilized to reduce emissions and capture gases for potential utilization.
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CASA-Bio is based upon work supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation under Contract No. 49100423P0058. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. National Science Foundation.
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