Concerns about the effects of reported climate change and issues related to both fuel and energy supply has caused an increase in efforts to pursue a bio-based economy. Reducing our dependency on fossil fuels is one of the main goals of these efforts. Especially the replacement of fossil fuels by so-called biofuels will strongly affect the global agri-food system, which is already under pressure due to emerging economies of China, India and Brazil, among others.
18th Lustrum Celebration
A shift from a fossil fuel-based system towards a bio-based economy raises more than mere technical questions. The Food or Fuel issue has far reaching implications for socio-economic developments, existing power relations, and environmental quality, at local, national and global levels. It affects incomes in agricultural households, prices of and access to food, competition for land, and so forth. As these pressing issues need to be addressed coherently and consistently, the Food or Fuel controversy most of all raises questions of governance at the local, national and global scale: who should govern, how should bio-fuels and global food supply be governed, and what are appropriate instruments of governance.