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Better Greenhouse Gas Emissions Accounting for Biofuels: A Key to Biofuels Sustainability

Better Greenhouse Gas Emissions Accounting for Biofuels: A Key to Biofuels Sustainability Biofuels are promoted by governments as a replacement for fossil fuels in the transport sector. However, according to current scientific evidence, their use does not necessarily significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This article examines issues related to the regulation of biofuels’ life-cycle ghg emissions. It finds that a regulatory gap exists at the international level, whilst regulation at the domestic level faces limits or is insufficient to fill this gap. It remains to be seen whether, taking into account the scientific complexities, coherent international rules for biofuels will be adopted. Until then, a polycentric regulatory approach on the use of biofuels, which addresses the sustainability problem at multiple scales, thereby enabling experimentation and cross-influence among different levels of standard-setting, will remain in place across the world. The current approach entails a potentially beneficial learning process on how to properly regulate biofuels. However, there is a risk that national regulators will promote biofuels without knowing or accounting exactly for the extent to which they contribute to greenhouse gas reductions. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Climate Law Brill

Better Greenhouse Gas Emissions Accounting for Biofuels: A Key to Biofuels Sustainability

Climate Law , Volume 6 (3-4): 279 – Oct 11, 2016

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2016 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
Subject
Articles
ISSN
1878-6553
eISSN
1878-6561
DOI
10.1163/18786561-00603005
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Biofuels are promoted by governments as a replacement for fossil fuels in the transport sector. However, according to current scientific evidence, their use does not necessarily significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This article examines issues related to the regulation of biofuels’ life-cycle ghg emissions. It finds that a regulatory gap exists at the international level, whilst regulation at the domestic level faces limits or is insufficient to fill this gap. It remains to be seen whether, taking into account the scientific complexities, coherent international rules for biofuels will be adopted. Until then, a polycentric regulatory approach on the use of biofuels, which addresses the sustainability problem at multiple scales, thereby enabling experimentation and cross-influence among different levels of standard-setting, will remain in place across the world. The current approach entails a potentially beneficial learning process on how to properly regulate biofuels. However, there is a risk that national regulators will promote biofuels without knowing or accounting exactly for the extent to which they contribute to greenhouse gas reductions.

Journal

Climate LawBrill

Published: Oct 11, 2016

Keywords: Biofuels; life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions; regulatory gap

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