Bioenergy in Developing Countries: Potential and Risks

Bioenergy has received much attention for its potential to meet growing energy demands and mitigate climate change, poverty and the world’s dependence on expensive, diminishing and insecure imported oil supplies. However, with these potential benefits come many potential environmental problems. The benefits, problems and environmental risks associated with bioenergy are most evident in developing countries. These countries also are more vulnerable to food shortages and environmental impacts, including climate change.

Additionaly, international corporations often target developing countries due to their plentiful availability of natural resources, relatively weak administrative oversight and often ill-defined and poorly enforced national laws. Accordingly, an international effort is needed to ensure sustainable bioenergy production in these countries. This article begins by briefly reviewing the nature of bioenergy and its relation to climate change. Next, it considers the benefits and problems associated with bioenergy production and use. Two case studies in developing countries are presented: that of Brazil, where biofuel production has been quite successful, and that of Indonesia, where biofuel production has created serious problems. After discussing the bioenergy context in these two countries, the article addresses the need for bioenergy standards and the difficulties that arise in their implemention, with a focus on the standards being formulated by the Roundtable for Sustainable Biofuels. The correlation between bioenergy and climate change will also be examined, and the article closes with recommendations for the effective implementation of sustainable bioenergy standards in developing countries.

Copyright: © Lexxion Verlagsgesellschaft mbH
Quelle: Issue 01/2010 (Juli 2010)
Seiten: 10
Preis inkl. MwSt.: € 41,65
Autor: Richard L. Ottinger
Steven E. Miller

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