Sunday, March 17, 2013

Have Biofuels Opened Pandora’s Box in the Social Policy Space? | Press Room


The discourse surrounding bio fuels may paint a picture of an economically viable, environmentally friendly, and socially protective pathway for alternative energy development. In the pursuit of strategies for a “green economy”, biofuels are often praised for their ability to provide energy security and help to avert greenhouse gases from non-renewable fossil fuels. However, the sociology-environmental impacts are still a highly debated topic. Can bio fuel production and policy contribute to poverty reduction and rural development?

Adjusting Biofuel Policies to Meet Social and Rural Development Needs: Analysing the Experiences of Brazil, India, and Indonesia, a Policy Research Brief (PRB) authored by Mairon G. Bastos Lima and published by the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG) of the United Nations Development Programme, sheds light the social policy side of the recent surge in bio fuel production. This comparative analysis presents the experiences of the bio fuel industry in Brazil, India, and Indonesia with particular reference to rural development and social protection. By applying a critical lens to bio fuel policy and production, it is revealed that there exists a disharmony between the requirements of rural development and bio fuel expansion. The PRB unveils increasing inequalities in land ownership and adverse impacts on rural development such as smallholder displacement and food security instability.