In order to achieve the objectives of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, the conversion of our economy, which is still dominated by fossil carbon, to the bioeconomy model must be completed by 2050. This requires a shift from oil, gas and coal to
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In order to achieve the objectives of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, the conversion of our economy, which is still dominated by fossil carbon, to the bioeconomy model must be completed by 2050. This requires a shift from oil, gas and coal to agricultural, forestry and marine raw materials and will affect the global processing chains for energy, fuels and chemicals. However, the land required for the production of raw materials is competing with the production of food and animal feed. In addition, future land use must better take into account planetary boundaries and the preservation of ecosystem services. In order to achieve economic, ecological and societal sustainability, the necessary measures must therefore be geared towards the UN’s sustainability goals. Against this background, the future bioeconomy will have to concentrate on the food, chemical and heavy fuel sectors. Important sub-areas are alternative animal protein for nutrition, feedstock efficiency in the processing of bio-based raw materials, and the expansion of the raw materials spectrum. This requires enormous investment in industrial facilities, the integration of newly emerging value chains and the necessary infrastructure. The annual global investment requirements for renewable energy, bio-based chemicals and fuels, and ecosystem services is estimated at USD 1–2 trillion over the next three decades, equivalent to about 1.3–2.6% of global GDP. This article discusses the implications and guard rails of the bioeconomy model, as well as capital needs and possible sources.