Article

Negotiating Authority in Global Biofuel Governance: Brazil and the EU in the WTO

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Abstract

Globalization is changing the nature and practices of global governance, including those relating to governance of large-scale environmental change. A complex array of actors and institutions now frames and seeks to manage environmental problems in diverse ways, resulting in intersecting spheres of public and private authority that shape governance outcomes. We interpret authority here as the capacity to define the content of rules and norms that shape social, economic, and political processes. 1 Our interest is in how the state, still a dominant actor in global environmental governance, navigates shifting spheres of governance authority in promoting its own policy agenda. In assessing such a role for the state, we focus here on global biofuels governance and the Brazilian state. Biofuels are liquid or gas fuels derived from biomass sources such as starch, sugars, fat, wood, or waste. Although classifying categories of biofuels is subject to debate, so-called first-generation biofuels are associated mainly with (1) sugar or starch from food sources such as sugarcane or corn that is converted to bioethanol, and (2) vegetable oils (soy, rapeseed, palm) or animal fats that are converted to biodiesel. Second-generation biofuels are derived from ligno-cellulosic (woody) sources, while third-generation biofuels are produced from algae. 2 This paper focuses on first-generation biofuels because they are produced on a large scale as transport fuel, and are now under intense scrutiny with regard to sustainability and potential competition with food security. 3 The environmentally friendly characterization applied to such biofuels in the early years of their development now faces sustained critiques because of an array of assumed negative effects arising from their production and use. These include increased deforestation and land clearing, accusations of land-grabbing,

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... Extensive research in recent years focused on how private certification initiatives function [4][5][6][7]. Many studies discussed, additionally, the sustainability debates around biofuels, including the pros and cons of various measurement tools to assess the (adverse) effects that biofuels might have on changing land use, GHG emissions, and agricultural production, among others [8-10]. ...
... Following the implementation of the biofuels directive, the use of biofuels for road transport increased to 2.6% in 2007 [22]. This was partially achieved by a growth in imported bioethanol in the period between 2005 and 2007, due to the lower production costs and higher efficiency of Brazilian sugarcane ethanol at that time [7]. Also, biodiesel trade increased through cheap soybean oil from the United States, where farmers benefited from subsidies [22]. ...
... Despite the sustainability requirements put in place by RED and FQD, debates about the potential adverse effect of biofuels continued. In particular, there were ethical concerns with regard to food versus fuel, an issue immediately related to the land-use change driven by the increasing demand for biofuels [7,26]. Political debates resulted in April 2015 in the agreement that the EU would use a cap of 7% for biofuels derived from crops grown on agricultural land, to be used as part of the renewable energy target for transportation by 2020 [3,27,28]. ...
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The European Union (EU) stands at a crossroads regarding its biofuel policies. For more than a decade, the EU sought to create a market for and govern sustainable biofuels for the transport sector, even as debates over sustainability escalated. It did so by devising novel hybrid (public and private) governance arrangements. We took stock of the nature and outcomes of this experiment in hybrid biofuel governance. We relied on qualitative methods of analysis, whereby we reviewed and synthesized the evolution of EU biofuel governance arrangements over time, through detailed document analysis of secondary and primary literature, including EU and related policy documents and private certification scheme websites. Our analysis reveals that, instead of yielding an increasingly stringent sustainability framework, the hybrid EU governance arrangements resulted in a proliferation of relatively lax, industry-driven, sustainability standards, even as the notion of “sustainable biofuels” remained contested in public and political debate. These findings contribute to an ongoing debate about the merits of hybrid (public–private) governance arrangements, and whether a hybrid approach helps strengthen or weaken sustainability objectives. We conclude that a more stringent EU meta-standard on sustainability needs to be developed, to underpin future governance arrangements.<br/
... These can be seen in negotiations between in global and national policymakers over development policy to assert a status of legitimate statehood and authoritative government (e.g. Gupta, 1995;Kuus, 2014;Randeira and Grunder, 2011;Stattman and Gupta, 2015). They can also be observed through dully and persistently repeated acts of power in localised settings (Hansen, 1997), 'ossified' ways of talking (Feldman, 2011) and routinised informal behaviours that assert control over governing processes. ...
... These can be seen in negotiations between in global and national policymakers over development policy to assert a status of legitimate statehood and authoritative government (e.g. Gupta, 1995;Kuus, 2014;Randeira and Grunder, 2011;Stattman and Gupta, 2015). They can also be observed through dully and persistently repeated acts of power in localised settings (Hansen, 1997), 'ossified' ways of talking (Feldman, 2011) and routinised informal behaviours that assert control over governing processes. ...
... Ponte, 2014;Fortin, 2018) and the relative merits and shortcomings of EU-RED vis-à-vis other frameworks of governance (e.g. Stattman and Gupta, 2015;Renckens et al., 2017). However, so far, it is difficult to find empirical analyses examining EU-RED's actual implementation transnationally. ...
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The European Renewable Energy Directive (EU-RED) constitutes a ‘hybrid’ system of governance: the European Commission, a formal political authority, has set a number of sustainability criteria for the production of biofuels; however, private voluntary certification schemes are the most widely used method through which compliance is verified. In this way, EU-RED acquires the capacity to be implemented and controlled beyond European borders. This paper’s goal is to assess the potentials and limitations of this hybrid initiative of governance to enhance sustainability transnationally. To do so, we analyze the implementation of EU-RED in the case of biodiesel produced in Argentina and consumed in the European Union. In this way, we go beyond the literature’s focus on EU-RED’s institutional framework and analyses of its potential impacts, examining instead its actual implementation on the ground. We assess its effects both in terms of governance – by determining how EU-RED affects the relations of coordination among actors in the chosen global value chain – and upgrading – by determining EU-RED’s capacity to advance the social, environmental and economic conditions of biodiesel production in Argentina. The analysis shows that EU-RED’s implementation reproduces power asymmetries between European traders and Argentinean biodiesel producers, while it softens inequalities between the latter and their soy suppliers. In terms of sustainability, we identified irrelevant social and limited environmental impacts, while the most relevant form of upgrading is associated with economic factors.
... As Bastos Lima and Gupta [9] note, international biofuel governance is limited, focusing less on reducing the negative externalities of biofuel usage and more on issues relating to the commoditization of biofuels and the enhancement of international trade. In order to improve the sustainability of feedstock cultivation and biofuel production, various jurisdictions have adopted rules or regulations, such as sustainability standards, that seek to exert extraterritorial control by influencing conduct that occurs outside their borders [10,11]. The manner in which affected parties perceive and respond to such processes has received little attention in the literature, and forms a key part of our focus. ...
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Traditional global powers like the European Union and the United States are seeing the rise of emerging powers like Brazil as prospective cooperation partners. Examining how traditional powers are perceived by their emerging counterparts offers critical insights into the prerequisites for effective and durable partnerships. While the literature on external perceptions has expanded considerably, a comparative perspective on how emerging powers perceive the policies of the two transatlantic powers in issue-specific areas is lacking. We present a framework of explanatory variables (legitimacy, coherence and negotiating style) and apply it to interview data and the literature to unravel Brazil's relations on biofuels with the EU and US, including through trilateral partnerships with third countries. Our data show that while Brazil's partnership with the US has progressed, the one with the EU has struggled to advance. Our paper seeks to explain these differences using our framework, advance understanding on the external perceptions of the international role and collaborative posture of the EU and US, and provide policy insights for the fruitful conduct of partnerships.
... Thus, rather than being new developments of complex and opaque governance, in the 'Global South', also later in Eastern Europe and central Asia, the politics of policymaking and the assertion of domestic interests continued to be in politically complex and financially constrained circumstances, subject to their own dynamics (Aitken, 2010;Berry and Gabay, 2009;Bridge and Wood, 2005;Larner and Laurie, 2010;Stattman and Gupta, 2015;Vaughan and Rafanell, 2012). Postcolonial domestic policy actors moved between, endorsed and/or contested marketisation agendas and the imposition of financial, political and social controls in a wide array of settings as a matter of course. ...
... Important work in the field of GEP has begun to emerge on some specific aspects of the intersection of agriculture and the environment, and on the chal- lenges associated with developing effective governance of these issues. This work includes studies about the rise of biofuels (e.g., Bastos Lima and Gupta 2013;Neville 2015;Stattman and Gupta 2015), unsustainable fisheries (e.g., Havice and Campling 2010;Gulbrandsen and Auld 2016), the implications of geneti- cally modified organisms (e.g., Falkner and Gupta 2006;Stephan 2012), and the ecological damage caused by palm oil production (e.g., Visseren-Hamakers et al. 2011;Schleifer 2016). These studies add helpful insights to the GEP liter- ature, highlighting cases of environmental problems that arise from activities related to food and agricultural production. ...
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This special issue seeks to expand our understanding of the complex interlinkages between the politics and governance of the global environment, on one hand, and the global food system on the other. The articles in this issue explore insights that the field of global environmental politics can bring to questions of food system sustainability, while at the same time considering what the relationship between food systems and the environment reveals about the nature of global environmental politics. The authors examine how issues at the intersection of environment and food are framed in international political settings; the articles explore the political and economic dynamics surrounding different actors—including states, corporations, civil society organizations, and marginalized populations—in shaping debates around how best to govern these issues.
... Biodiesel has recently attracted tremendous attention in alternative fuel research because it has several superior characteristics over mineral diesel including its renewability, biodegradability, non-toxicity, higher flash point, and cleaner emission profile (Knothe, 2001). The disadvantages associated with the consumption of fossil fuels and the advantages offered by biodiesel have prompted several nations to enact legislation that promotes biodiesel usage and blending with mineral diesel (Stattman and Gupta, 2015). ...
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... The Sendai Framework (2015), a voluntary non-binding agreement, aims at reducing global disaster mortality by 2030 through various measures to be implemented. Increasing reliance on such policy regimes (Stattman and Gupta, 2015), by both governments and private parties, should lead us to regard the negotiated regimes as formal social institutions. The problem is that effectiveness of these regimes may depend on pro-environmental behaviors fostered by traditional social institutions. ...
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... Bachrach and Baratz [11] speak of "two faces of power" emphasizing that some issues never even make it onto the political agenda and are dismissed before observable negotiations start. For a long time, the EU issued biofuels only in the context of climate change, completely neglecting aspects of competing food demands and land use change in the Global South [45,46]. Scholars demonstrating such hidden aspects apply this second dimension of power over to analyze biofuel governance. ...
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... Notwithstanding their differences on sustainability measurement methodologies (see below), Brazil and the EU have co-operated with African countries, notably Mozambique and Kenya, on the sustainable development of bioenergy. Finally, Brazil also regularly employs the World Trade Organization (WTO) to contest EU standards by highlighting their incompatibility with prevailing WTO classifications (Stattman and Gupta, 2015). ...
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... Relationships with countries such as China, India, and Brazil cover a wide range of political and economic topics. Environmental issues are often part of debates and policy initiatives and may facilitate cooperation with the EU providing financial support (116)(117)(118)(119)(120). The EU has also completed trade agreements with more than 50 countries in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia. ...
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The International Food and Agricultural Trade Policy Council (IPC) has recently called on the WTO to clarify its rules on biofuels. It called for a resolution of the customs classifications problems surrounding these fuels so that trade could flourish in an organized manner. More specifically it argued that uncertainty over the biofuels customs classification, and the range of governmental measures to protect domestic biofuel production, including tariffs and subsidies, risked stunting growth in trade even as the global demand for biofuels was rising. For the IPC–as well as for numerous actors on the biofuels landscape–an examination of how WTO rules apply to these fuels has clearly become timely. This article seeks to draw attention to the multiple policy objectives that are driving governments to promote biofuels, and to how “trade policy” is largely being put to the service of the specific goals to which governments are attaching priority. It argues that a coherent vision at the international level of the role that biofuels should play in energy, economic and environmental policy has yet to emerge, but that despite this situation it is key that this sector develops on a “level trade policy playing field” for its long-term efficiency. Such a levelling would, in particular, unleash the full comparative advantage of tropical developing country producers of ethanol. The article highlights that–even in the absence of a concerted decision by governments on how to handle these fuels at the WTO–certain restrictions to biofuels trade would in any event be reduced through the current Doha Round of trade negotiations. But for the Doha Round to bear full fruit, it would be important for governments not to fully shelter either biofuels, or their production feedstock, through existing “flexibilities” in the negotiations.
Article
The government has made a political decision to insert Brazil into the world as a major country, a country which likes to respect others but at the same time a country which wants to be respected. We will not accept any more participating in international politics as if we were the poor little ones of Latin America, a 'little country' of the Third World, a 'little country' which has street children, which only knows how to play football, and only knows how to enjoy carnival. This country does have street children, has carnival and has football. But this country has much more. This country has greatness …this country has everything to be the equal of any other country in the world. And we will not give up on this goal. This speech by President Lula to diplomats in 2003 captures much of the tenor of Brazil's foreign policy over the past seven years. There has been a new international self-confidence; a determination to forge a bolder and more innovative foreign policy; and a clear sense that Brazil's time has come. Building on President Lula's extraordinary personal popularity, the country's continued economic stability, and its increased international activism and assertiveness Brazil has undoubtedly acquired a new global prominence. Clear signs of activism can be seen in the opening of 33 new embassies, 5 new permanent missions to international organizations (including the IAEA and the Human Rights Council) and 19 new consulates. Substantively, foreign policy has involved a heavy emphasis on South America as a key region both in its own right and as part of Brazil's global projection; a strong focus on building political and economic relations with other emerging powers, especially China, India and South Africa; a heavily 'Southern' slant to foreign policy both in terms of partners (especially in Africa and the Middle East) and in terms of objectives and proclaimed values; a relative distancing from the United States and a decline in the salience of traditional partners in Europe; and, – the core focus of this article – an emphasis not just on traditional multilateralism but on gaining membership of the new formal and informal groupings that have emerged at the heart of the new global order.
Article
Brazil will gain a place as a significant player in the mul-tipolar international system taking shape since the end of the cold war simply on the basis of its economic size and material capabilities. However, its potential to influence international outcomes is likely to be determined more by the capacity of the country's elites to identify and harness qualitative assets associated with its stable and democratic governance than by any hard-power assets. Brazil is the quintessential soft-power BRIC. Among the four BRICs, Brazil is the only one posi-tioned to become a potential environmental power in a world increasingly preoccupied with global warming.
Article
This study examines how Brazil operationalised a renewed developmentalist project during the democratic period, and especially during the presidency of Lula da Silva. We use an original data set of 2,115 loans made by the Brazilian National Development Bank (BNDES) between 2002 and 2011 to show elements of both change and continuity with Brazil’s developmentalist past. Large loans continued to flow to many of Brazil’s historic large firms and industrial sectors – as reported widely – but the data also show significant numbers of smaller loans to firms in all sectors, as well as renewed support for internationalisation and innovation. We conclude that BNDES’s lending reflects less a wholly new model of developmentalism than it does a developmentalist strategy that has been renewed and updated for the challenges and opportunities of a more market-oriented economy.
Article
Despite criticism, global biofuel production continues to rise, using primarily food crops. Between 2001 and 2012 it increased nearly six-fold, driven primarily by domestic policies, yet raising strong international concerns, eg over impacts on global food prices. Nevertheless, little international biofuel governance has emerged. This article examines the various extraterritorial dimensions of domestic biofuel policies and investigates why international biofuel governance has remained vague, despite its controversial nature. It uses the politics of scale to analyse why countries may wish to frame it as a global or domestic issue. Three extraterritorial dimensions are identified: global environmental impacts, global socioeconomic impacts, and attempts at extraterritorial control over biofuel production abroad. While major producers have successfully avoided liability for impacts by preventing the scaling up of much biofuel governance to the international level, major importers have tried to fill perceived governance gaps using policies aimed at extraterritorial control. We show that both the rise of nationally oriented development policies with extraterritorial impacts and of unilateral sustainability rule making primarily affect weaker countries, making global inequalities more pronounced. It is essential that adaptation governance take into account both environmental and global socioeconomic changes, such as higher agricultural commodity prices.
Article
Biofuels have been criticized in academic and activist circles not only for their environmental consequences but also for their social impacts on food availability and on small-scale family farming. Meanwhile (global) initiatives and policies have been developed to stimulate “sustainable biofuels”. Brazil – a frontrunner in production and use of biofuels – aimed to combine biodiesel production with rural development. The biodiesel policy implemented in 2004 had two main objectives: to advance biodiesel as a transportation fuel and to foster the social inclusion of family farmers through participation in the biodiesel chain. Although participation of family farmers was low in the beginning, it increased substantially after a 2009 policy change that gave cooperatives a more prominent role. We analyze how, why and to what extent cooperatives are involved in integrating family farmers into the biodiesel chain and what this means for the social sustainability of biodiesel, taking the northeast state of Bahia as a case study area. The findings show that through the biodiesel policy, cooperatives—until then a marginal phenomenon in northern Brazil—increased their membership, were empowered and contributed to the economic development of a significant group of family farmers. However, these family farmers have not been substantially included in the biodiesel production chain itself. The biodiesel policy functions as a catalyst for rural (economic) development in which the cooperatives seem to achieve what governments were unable to achieve: the integration of specific categories of family farmers into agrarian development. Subsistence family farmers, in particular, have not been able to profit from this policy-driven, “market-oriented,” rural development model. Hence, it can be questioned whether this policy has made biodiesel more socially sustainable.
Article
The willingness of public authority to delegate social and environmental regulation to the private sector has varied from sector to sector, but has often led to the establishment of ‘voluntary’ standards and certifications on sustainability. Many of these have taken the form of ‘stewardship councils’ and ‘sustainability roundtables’ and have been designed around a set of institutional features seeking to establish legitimacy, fend off possible criticism, and ‘sell’ certifications to potential users. The concept of ‘roundtabling’ emphasizes the fitting a variety of commodity-specific sustainability situations into a form that not only ‘hears more voices’ (as in ‘multi-stakeholder’), but also portrays to give them equal standing at the table of negotiations (roundtable), thus raising higher expectations on accountability, transparency and inclusiveness. In this article, I examine to what extent these expectations are being met through the comparative case study of two sustainability certifications in the biofuel industry – in the context of a wider set of experiences in the agro-food and forestry sectors. I show that ‘roundtabling’ entails an ever more complex web of governance systems and procedures to meet ‘good practice’ in standard setting and management. This is opening space for competing initiatives that are less democratic, quicker, and more aligned with industry interests to establish substantial presence in the market for sustainability certifications. These tend to more easily discriminate on the basis of size (against small players) and geography (against actors in the South). The article concludes with a reflection on what can be done, through appropriate regulation, to address this situation.
Article
This article provides an empirical analysis of orchestration – that is, the initiation, support, and embracement of private governance arrangements through public regulators – in the field of European Union biofuel governance. It examines the emerging sustainability regime and shows that orchestration has been extensively practiced. Regulators in the European Union have used a range of directive and facilitative measures to initiate and support private biofuel certification schemes and to incorporate them in their regulatory frameworks. This has given rise to a hybrid regime in which public and private approaches are closely intertwined. Discussing the benefits and complications of engaging with private biofuel sustainability governance, the article's findings point to a partial failure of orchestration in this policy area.
Article
Connecting (small) family farmers to the emerging biodiesel industry requires careful design of the institutional arrangements between the producers of oil crops and the processing companies. According to institutional economics theory, the design of effective and efficient arrangements depends on production and transaction characteristics, the institutional environment, and the organizational environment supporting the transaction between producers and the industry. This paper presents a comparative study on two cases in the feedstock-for-biodiesel industry in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The two case studies represent the production and transaction system of soybeans (Glycine max L. Merrill) and castor beans (Ricinus communis L.). Important elements of effective and efficient institutional arrangements are farmer collective action, availability of technical and financial support, and farmer experience with particular crops.
Article
While the environmental and economic dimensions of sustainability have received plenty of attention in biofuel policies and assessment, only recently has the social ‘pillar’ gained increasing weight, demonstrated e.g. by debates over the dilemmas such as food vs. fuel and large vs. small-scale biofuel production. This paper calls for greater attention to power relations when assessing biofuel policies. A centre-periphery framework is applied for examining power relations in the Brazilian sugar and alcohol sector since the launching of the country's transport biofuel programme, Proálcool, in 1975. Particular attention is paid to the country's poor Northeast, today responsible for a small fraction of bioethanol production in Brazil, but highly dependent on its sugar and alcohol sector for employment and economic output. The analysis demonstrates the pervasive role of unequal and rigid power relations in shaping Proálcool's social impacts. The small sugar elite in the Northeast has increased its power and protected itself against market instability by diversifying its activity, while the benefits have failed to trickle down to the poorest in the sugarcane zone in the Northeast coast. The recent and on-going entry of new players in the Brazilian biofuel scene may provide opportunities of breaking the entrenched power structures and creating space for more pro-poor policies, notably through international sustainability certification. Any such schemes must, however, be designed carefully to avoid capture by the regional elites, and counteract the present tendencies towards further concentration of power – a danger particularly acute in the development of advanced next generation biofuels.
Article
The large-scale production of crop-based biofuels has been one of the fastest and most controversial global changes of recent years. Global biofuel outputs increased six-fold between 2000 and 2010, and a growing number of countries are adopting biofuel promotion policies. Meanwhile, multilateral bodies have been created, and a patchwork of biofuel policies is emerging. This article investigates the global biofuel policy context and analyzes its nature, its institutional architecture, and issues of access and allocation. Our assessment reveals a density of national policies but a paucity of international consensus on norms and rules. We argue that the global biofuel context remains a non-regime and that it has overlooked serious issues of access even as a risky North-South allocation pattern is created. Although biofuel governance is not completely absent, existing international institutions do not take account of the different voices in the debate and leave a large vacuum of unaddressed social and environmental issues.
Article
In light of significant interest by scholars in environmental geography and in studies of social-ecological systems in the multiscalar, multistakeholder aspects of environmental decision-making, we focus this review on multilevel systems of environmental governance in which multiple actors exercise different levels of power, authority, and action to determine ‘who gets what’ and ‘who gets to decide’. We describe literature documenting how new geographies of governance have emerged as state functions have been dispersed upwards, downwards, and outwards to non-state actors. We consider ‘What is the role of the state in this reconfiguration of scale and environmental governance?’ We focus on how scale and spatiality is being reconceptualized and how borders are reformed materially and socially through new governance practices, and consider the implications for advancing geographic theory and sound public policy.
Article
The EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28) requires that by 2020, biofuels should account for at least 10 per cent of transport fuel consumption. EU legislation sets out sustainability criteria for biofuels to qualify for this target and procedures for verifying that they are met. Using the AGLINK-COSIMO model, we investigate the impacts of the biofuel target on global trade flows and land use, both under the current biofuel tariff regime and assuming zero EU tariffs for biofuels. The EU’s 2020 transport fuel target increases the global area of agricultural crops by 0.9 per cent. With zero tariffs, the extra global land requirement is 21 per cent smaller, but a larger share of it falls outside the EU. This outcome sharpens the issue of how the EU’s unilateral sustainability criteria can be implemented given current international trade rules.
Article
The processes of globalization have led to a proliferation of spheres of authority and significant challenges for global governance. In this paper is discussed the concept of spheres of authority, the factors that encourage their proliferation, and the prospects for global governance in a world of disaggregated authority. The proliferation of spheres of authority does not mean that global governance is impossible, but that it will not result from a global government. Instead, governance will emerge from the interaction of overlapping spheres of authority; regulation will be achieved not through centralized authority but through the spread of norms, informal rules, and regimes.
Article
Recent growth in demand for biofuels is resulting in rapid increases in their production and trade. Although this may offer interesting export opportunities for tropical countries who can produce biomass more efficiently, whether this effectively leads to growing exports depends to a large extent on the conditionalities that prevail on the major biofuel markets. Market protection by developed countries, concerns about the environmental impact of producing biofuels, and demands for securing food production are all conditions preventing the world biofuels market from being a level playing field. These conditions for international trade are not yet fixed, however, and various stakeholders struggle with the desired arrangement. This review provides an overview of the state-of-the-art biofuels trade, with special emphasis on issues of access, trade barriers and sustainability relevant for developing countries. Copyright © 2009 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Article
Biofuels currently appear to be one of the major controversies in the agriculture/environment nexus, not unlike genetically modified organisms. While some countries (such as Brazil) have for quite some time supported successful large-scale programmes to improve the production and consumption of biofuels, policy-makers and research institutions in most developed and developing countries have only recently turned their attention to biofuels. Threat of climate change, new markets for agricultural output, reduced dependencies on OPEC countries and high fossil fuel prices are driving this development. But opposition to biofuels is growing, pointing at the various vulnerabilities – not in the least for developing countries – that come along with large-scale ‘energy’ plantations. Against this background this article analyses the sustainability and vulnerability of biofuels, from the perspective of a sociology of networks and flows. Current biofuel developments should be understood in terms of the emergence of a global integrated biofuel network, where environmental sustainabilities are more easily accommodated than vulnerabilities for marginal and peripheral groups and countries, irrespective of what policy-makers and biofuel advocates tell us.
Article
This paper presents an overview of 67 ongoing certification initiatives to safeguard the sustainability of bioenergy. Most recent initiatives are focused on the sustainability of liquid biofuels. Content-wise, most of these initiatives have mainly included environmental principles. Despite serious concerns in various parts of the world on the socio-economic impacts of bioenergy production, these are generally not included in existing bioenergy initiatives. At the same time, the overview shows a strong proliferation of standards. The overview shows that certification has the potential to influence direct, local impacts related to environmental and social effects of direct bioenergy production. Key recommendations to come to an efficient certification system include the need for further harmonization, availability of reliable data and linking indicators on a micro, meso and macro levels. Considering the multiple spatial scales, certification should be combined with additional measurements and tools on a regional, national and international level. The role of bioenergy production on indirect land use change (ILUC) is still very uncertain and current initiatives have rarely captured impacts from ILUC in their standards. Addressing unwanted LUC requires first of all sustainable land use production and good governance, regardless of the end-use of the product. It is therefore recommended to extend measures to mitigate impacts from LUC to other lands and feedstock.
Article
Recently, the international trade of various bioenergy commodities has grown rapidly, yet this growth is also hampered by some barriers. The aim of this paper is to obtain an overview of what market actors currently perceive as major opportunities and barriers for the development of international bioenergy trade. The work focuses on three bioenergy commodities: bioethanol, biodiesel and wood pellets. Data were collected through an internet-based questionnaire. The majority of the 141 respondents had an industrial background. Geographically, two-thirds were from (mainly Western) Europe, with other minor contributions from all other continents. Results show that import tariffs and the implementation of sustainability certification systems are perceived as (potentially) major barriers for the trade of bioethanol and biodiesel, while logistics are seen mainly as an obstacle for wood pellets. Development of technical standards was deemed more as an opportunity than a barrier for all commodities. Most important drivers were high fossil fuel prices and climate change mitigation policies. Concluding, to overcome some of the barriers, specific actions will be required by market parties and policy makers. Import tariffs for biofuels could be reduced or abolished, linked to multinational trade agreements and harmonization (including provisions on technical standards and sustainability requirements).
Article
The rapid expansion of ethanol production from sugarcane in Brazil has raised a number of questions regarding its negative consequences and sustainability. Positive impacts are the elimination of lead compounds from gasoline and the reduction of noxious emissions. There is also the reduction of CO2 emissions, since sugarcane ethanol requires only a small amount of fossil fuels for its production, being thus a renewable fuel. These positive impacts are particularly noticeable in the air quality improvement of metropolitan areas but also in rural areas where mechanized harvesting of green cane is being introduced, eliminating the burning of sugarcane. Negative impacts such as future large-scale ethanol production from sugarcane might lead to the destruction or damage of high-biodiversity areas, deforestation, degradation or damaging of soils through the use of chemicals and soil decarbonization, water resources contamination or depletion, competition between food and fuel production decreasing food security and a worsening of labor conditions on the fields. These questions are discussed here, with the purpose of clarifying the sustainability aspects of ethanol production from sugarcane mainly in São Paulo State, where more than 60% of Brazil's sugarcane plantations are located and are responsible for 62% of ethanol production.
Article
Increasing interest in biofuels trade between developed and developing countries has spurred worldwide discussions on issues such as subsidies and the ‘food for fuel’ crisis. One issue missing in recent discourse is the pressure exerted on developing countries to adopt large-scale mechanized farming practices to increase economic efficiencies. Such approaches often exclude small-scale farmers from participating in the emerging biofuels market, thus exacerbating poverty and social exclusion. Drawing on both qualitative and technical data, we discuss such pressures using Brazilian ethanol and biodiesel production. Pressure from international markets to become more economically efficient may contribute towards the erosion of recent schemes to encourage social benefits for small farmers in biodiesel production. We conclude with trade and policy implications.
Article
The objective of this article is to analyze the Brazilian Biodiesel Policy (PNPB) and to identify the social and environmental aspects of sustainability that are present or absent within it. Biofuels, namely alcohol and biodiesel, have been increasing in popularity on a global scale due to their potential as alternative and renewable energy sources. Brazil, a vast country blessed with abundant natural resources and agricultural land, has emerged as a global leader in the production of biofuels. This article includes a brief analysis of the concept of sustainable development, which served as a basis to evaluate the Policy documents. Although PNPB's implementation, which began in 2004, is still within its initial stage, it was possible to identify and elaborate on the environmental and social aspects of the Policy, namely: the social inclusion of family farmers; regional development; food security; influencing the carbon and energy balance of biodiesel; promoting sustainable agricultural practices and a diversity of feedstock.
Article
On the basis both the theoretical arguments and the empirical observations presented so far, this chapter introduces the thesis of the `disoriented state¿. This concept serves as an alternative for the `retreated¿, `hollowed-out¿ or `dead¿ state, as proclaimed by others. The concept pictures the state as being `lost¿ in a diffuse, multi-scalar and partly unknown geographical setting, and to being `uncertain¿ about the nature, characteristics, consequences and, hence, governance of complex issues. Paradoxically, the state seems to remain the power container in international and domestic politics, given its abundance of resources, locus of political authority, de jure recognition of national sovereignty, etc. However, it is `surrounded¿ by: (1) distanced governance arrangements; (2) re-territorialised political spaces; and (3) decentred statehood. While states also promote these changes, through their various neo-liberal programs, they feel plagued by these at the same time. Calls made earlier for more meta-governance, reflexivity and even irony should be seen in this light
Book
Part I: Introduction.- Shifts in Governmentality, Territoriality and Governance: An Introduction.- Part II: States, Territories, Governance.- 2. Neoliberalization and Place: Deconstructing and Reconstructing Borders.- 3. Urban Governance and the Production of New State Spaces in Western Europe, 1960-2000.- 4. From Governance to Governance Failure and from Multi-Level Governance to Multi-Scalar Meta-Governance.- Part III: Policy Practices.- 5. Querying the queue: a review of the literature on the management of borders and migration in the European Union.- 6. The Territoriality of Spatial-economic Governance in Historical Perspective - The Case of The Netherlands.- 7. Producing Urban (Dis)similarity: Entrepreneurial Governance, Consumer Mobility and Competitive Consumption Spaces: The Case of the Enschede Region.- 8. A Narrative Understanding of an Entrepreneurial City: The Case of Tilburg.- 9. River Basin Management in Europe: The 'Up- and Downloading' of a New Policy Discourse.- 10. Environmental Governance Failure: The 'Dark Side' of an Essentially Optimistic Concept.- Part IV: Conclusions.- 11. The Disoriented State.- ndex.
Article
Historically, during petroleum shortage, vegetable oils and their derivatives have been proposed as alternatives to petroleum diesel fuel. Since 1930, different approaches have been proposed by Brazilian's universities and research institutes, including the use of neat vegetable oils (pure or in blends) or their derivatives, such as hydrocarbons obtained by thermal-catalytic cracking and fatty acids’ methyl or ethyl esters (nowadays known as “biodiesel”) produced by alcoholysis. Recently, the external dependence on imported diesel fuel and the present petroleum crisis have increased the discussion in Brazil in the sense of starting to use alternatives to diesel fuel, biodiesel being the main alternative for a large petroleum diesel substitution program.
Brazilian law: Lei 12
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Garces and Vianna 2009; Goldemberg et al. 2008; Martinelli and Filoso 2008. 36. Brazilian law: Lei 12.490/2011. 45. EC 2009a, articles 9, 65–81, 84. 46. EC 2009b, articles 3, 8–10.
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Available at: www.agricultura.gov.br/arq_editor The Disoriented State: Shifts in Governmentality, Territoriality and Governance
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Anuário Estatístico da Agroenergia. [Statistical Yearbook of Agroenergy]. 2012. Available at: www.agricultura.gov.br/arq_editor/file/Desenvolvimento_Sustentavel/Agroenergia/ anuario_agroenergia_web_2012.pdf. Arts, Bas, Arnoud Lagendijk, and Henk van Houtum. 2009. The Disoriented State: Shifts in Governmentality, Territoriality and Governance. Environment & Policy 49: 231–247.
The Brazilian Biofuel Industry: Achievements and Geopolitical Challenges. In Secure Oil and Alternative Energy: The Geopolitics of Energy Paths of China and the European Union
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Bastos Lima, Mairon G. 2012. The Brazilian Biofuel Industry: Achievements and Geopolitical Challenges. In Secure Oil and Alternative Energy: The Geopolitics of Energy Paths of China and the European Union, edited by M.P. Amineh and Yang Guang, 343-369, Leiden: Brill Publishing.
The Changing Role of the State Jinke van, Martin Junginger, and André P.C. Faaij. 2010. From the Global Efforts on Certification of Bioenergy Towards an Integrated Approach Based on Sustainable Land Use Planning
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Compagnon, Daniel, Sander Chan, and Ayşem Mert. 2012. The Changing Role of the State. In Global Environmental Governance Reconsidered, edited by Frank Biermann and Philip H. Pattberg, 237–263, Cambridge MA: MIT Press. Dam, Jinke van, Martin Junginger, and André P.C. Faaij. 2010. From the Global Efforts on Certification of Bioenergy Towards an Integrated Approach Based on Sustainable Land Use Planning. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 14 (9): 2445–2472.
WTO Disciplines and Biofuels: Opportunities and Constraints in the Creation of a Global Marketplace. International Food & Agricultural Trade Policy Council
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ICTSD. 2009. Biofuels Certification and the Law of the World Trade Organization. Washington D.C. At: http://ictsd.org/downloads/2009/06/marsha-echols.pdf. IPC. 2006. WTO Disciplines and Biofuels: Opportunities and Constraints in the Creation of a Global Marketplace. International Food & Agricultural Trade Policy Council, Washington D.C. At: www.agritrade.org/Publications/DiscussionPapers/ WTO_ Disciplines_Biofuels.pdf. Sarah L. Stattman and Aarti Gupta @BULLET 57
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De) Constructing a " Sustainable Biofuel Synthesis of paper presented at the ECPR SGIR Expansion of Sugarcane Ethanol Production in Brazil: Environmental and Social Challenges
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Leopold, Aaron. 2010. (De) Constructing a " Sustainable " " Biofuel. " Synthesis of paper presented at the ECPR SGIR, Stockholm, Sweden. Martinelli, Luiz A., and Solange Filoso. 2008. Expansion of Sugarcane Ethanol Production in Brazil: Environmental and Social Challenges. Ecological Applications 18: 885–898.
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