Changing modes and authority of biofuel governance: the case of Brazil

This research is about changing authority of the state in the governance of biofuels with a focus on the role of Brazil. Special attention is given to the fulfilment of sustainability ambitions under hybrid forms of governance that may change the authority division between state and non-state actors.

Biofuel policies are implemented by states across the globe with the ambition to (partly) replace fossil fuels for transport with renewable alternatives. One of the chief producers and users is Brazil, which has large scale experience with bioethanol made from sugarcane since the 1970s. Since 2008 it also increased its production and usage of biodiesel from vegetable oils mainly soy oil. Brazil has been looking at ways for global expansion and increasing trade. Simultaneously the European Union started to require the use of biofuels due to directives that aimed to increase the amount of renewable energy usages implemented in 2009. These developments both resulted in a broad variety of sustainability debates.

Therefore this PhD research investigates the governance of biofuels and the role of states thereby. It is divided into four journal articles that each address specific related elements: 1) Governing biofuels in Brazil: A comparison of ethanol and biodiesel policies; 2) Social sustainability of Brazilian biodiesel: The role of agricultural Cooperatives; 3) Negotiating Authority in Global Biofuel Governance: Brazil and the EU in the WTO; 4) Seeking Sustainable Biofuels in the EU: Consequences of Hybrid Governance?

PhD candidate Sarah Stattman
PhD candidate Sarah Stattman