Biofuels Sustainability Certification Schemes: Challenges, Feasibility and Possible Approaches

Visconti, Gloria (2010) Biofuels Sustainability Certification Schemes: Challenges, Feasibility and Possible Approaches , [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Cooperazione internazionale e politiche per lo sviluppo sostenibile, 22 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/2465.
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The focus of this research is to develop and apply an analytical framework for evaluating the effectiveness and practicability of sustainability certification schemes for biofuels, especially in a developing country’s perspective. The main question that drives the research analysis is “Which are the main elements of and how to develop sustainability certification schemes that would be effective and practicable in certifying the contribution of biofuels in meeting the goals Governments and other stakeholders have set up?”. Biofuels have been identified as a promising tool to reach a variety of goals: climate change protection, energy security, agriculture development, and, especially in developing countries, economic development. Once the goals have been identified, and ambitious mandatory targets for biofuels use agreed at national level, concerns have been raised by the scientific community on the negative externalities that biofuels production and use can have at environment, social and economic level. Therefore certification schemes have been recognized as necessary processes to measure these externalities, and examples of such schemes are in effect, or are in a negotiating phase, both at mandatory and voluntary levels. The research focus has emerged by the concern that the ongoing examples are very demanding in terms of compliance, both for those that are subject to certification and those that have to certify, on the quantity and quality of information to be reported. A certification system, for reasons linked to costs, lack of expertise, inadequate infrastructure, absence of an administrative and legislative support, can represent an intensive burden and can act as a serious impediment for the industrial and agriculture development of developing countries, going against the principle of equity and level playing field. While this research recognizes the importance of comprehensiveness and ambition in designing an important tool for the measurement of sustainability effects of biofuels production and use, it stresses the need to focus on the effectiveness and practicability of this tool in measuring the compliance with the goal. This research that falls under the rationale of the Sustainability Science Program housed at Harvard Kennedy School, has as main objective to close the gap between the research and policy makers worlds in the field of sustainability certification schemes for biofuels.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Visconti, Gloria
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze politiche e sociali
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Biofuels, Certification, Sustainable Development
Data di discussione
4 Giugno 2010

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