European Commission Impact Assessment on Algae

It was recently reported in Biofuels Digest that the European Commission has published an online consultation on its roadmap aimed at promoting a strong and sustainable EU algae sector. This online portal is entitled “Consultation – your view on promoting EU algae production,” and can be accessed here. This effort is an “Inception Impact Assessment,” which in general are aimed at informing citizens and stakeholders about the Commission’s plans for certain initiatives, to seek public feedback and participation in future consultation activities. These Assessments are said to be ways in which citizens and stakeholders can provide views on the Commission’s understanding of a given problem and possible solutions and to provide any relevant information that they may have.

The document summarizing the Assessment can be downloaded as a PDF document here, although the site was somewhat balky today (please contact me if you cannot access this document, and I can send the PDF). The inquiry encompasses a broad scope of potential uses both of microalgae and macroalgae (e.g. seaweed), for uses including food, fuel and specialty chemical production, and the document states that “the initiative aims at increasing sustainable production, ensure safe consumption and boost innovative use of algae and algae-based products”. The document states that the Commission is considering at least three options: the first would be “no policy change”, the second would be what are called “targeted activities to support the sustainable growth of the algae sector” and would include measures to improve applicable regulatory frameworks, improving the business environment for algae products, increasing social awareness and also closing knowledge and research gaps. A third option would include all of the activities under the second option but would also include mandated incentives and quotas for algae products. Public input is sought on a wide range of relevant topics, as the first phase of a process that will culminate in the issuance of reports and recommendations by the fourth quarter of 2021.

The Commission opened a 4-week comment period on December 21, 2020, with January 18, 2021 as the deadline for submissions. Comments can be submitted at this site, or from the “Have your say” link at the portal page.

D. Glass Associates, Inc. is a consulting company specializing in government and regulatory affairs support for renewable fuels and industrial biotechnology. David Glass, Ph.D. is a veteran of over thirty-five years in the biotechnology industry, with expertise in industrial biotechnology regulatory affairs, U.S. and international renewable fuels regulation, patents, technology licensing, and market and technology assessments. More information on D. Glass Associates’ regulatory affairs consulting capabilities, and links to some of Dr. Glass’s prior presentations on biofuels and biotechnology regulation, are available at www.dglassassociates.com. The views expressed in this blog are those of Dr. Glass and D. Glass Associates and do not represent the views of any other organization with which Dr. Glass is affiliated.