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The Policy Context of Biofuels: A Case of Non-Governance at the Global Level?

Author

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  • Mairon G. Bastos Lima

    (Mairon G. Bastos Lima is a PhD candidate at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), VU University Amsterdam.)

  • Joyeeta Gupta

    (Joyeeta Gupta is professor of climate change law and policy at the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), VU University Amsterdam and at UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft.)

Abstract

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. © 2013 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Mairon G. Bastos Lima & Joyeeta Gupta, 2013. "The Policy Context of Biofuels: A Case of Non-Governance at the Global Level?," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 13(2), pages 46-64, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:glenvp:v:13:y:2013:i:2:p:46-64
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Schut, Marc & Cunha Soares, Núria & van de Ven, Gerrie & Slingerland, Maja, 2014. "Multi-actor governance of sustainable biofuels in developing countries: The case of Mozambique," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 631-643.
    2. Sarah L. Stattman & Aarti Gupta, 2015. "Negotiating Authority in Global Biofuel Governance: Brazil and the EU in the WTO," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 15(1), pages 41-59, February.
    3. Kate J. Neville, 2015. "The Contentious Political Economy of Biofuels," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 15(1), pages 21-40, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    biofuels; global biofuel policy;

    JEL classification:

    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade

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