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Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 98; doi:10.3390/su8010098

Possible Futures towards a Wood-Based Bioeconomy: A Scenario Analysis for Germany

1
Department of Economics, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research—UFZ, Permoserstraße 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
2
Institute for Infrastructure and Resources Management, Leipzig University, Grimmaische Straße 12, 04109 Leipzig, Germany
3
Department of Ecosystem Services and German, Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research GmbH—UFZ; Deutscher Platz 5e, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vincenzo Torretta
Received: 10 November 2015 / Revised: 11 January 2016 / Accepted: 13 January 2016 / Published: 21 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Abstract

Driven by the growing awareness of the finite nature of fossil raw materials and the need for sustainable pathways of industrial production, the bio-based economy is expected to expand worldwide. Policy strategies such as the European Union Bioeconomy Strategy and national bioeconomy strategies foster this process. Besides the advantages promised by a transition towards a sustainable bioeconomy, these processes have to cope with significant uncertainties as many influencing factors play a role, such as climate change, technological and economic development, sustainability risks, dynamic consumption patterns and policy and governance issues. Based on a literature review and an expert survey, we identify influence factors for the future development of a wood-based bioeconomy in Germany. Four scenarios are generated based on different assumptions about the development of relevant influence factors. We discuss what developments in politics, industry and society have a central impact on shaping alternative futures. As such, the paper provides a knowledge base and orientation for decision makers and practitioners, and contributes to the scientific discussion on how the bioeconomy could develop. We conclude that the wood-based bioeconomy has a certain potential to develop further, if adequate political framework conditions are implemented and meet voter support, if consumers exhibit an enhanced willingness to pay for bio-based products, and if among companies, a chance-oriented advocacy coalition of bioeconomy supporters dominates over proponents of fossil pathways. View Full-Text
Keywords: scenario development; bioeconomy; Germany; uncertainty; renewable resources; wood scenario development; bioeconomy; Germany; uncertainty; renewable resources; wood
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hagemann, N.; Gawel, E.; Purkus, A.; Pannicke, N.; Hauck, J. Possible Futures towards a Wood-Based Bioeconomy: A Scenario Analysis for Germany. Sustainability 2016, 8, 98.

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