Biofuels: Between Energy Security and Climate Change - Latin America and the international discussion
This workshop from 28-29 August 2008 in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) aimed towards a common understanding between representatives of Latin America, Asia, Europe and the US on future biofuel development. Timo Kaphengst outlined in his presentation the renewable energy policy of the European Union, more specifically the main controversies within decision-making bodies of the EU on biofuel targets and sustainability standards.
For this international workshop, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and Nueva Sociedad convened representatives from national ministries, NGOs and consultancies from different Latin-American countries, including experts from Indonesia, the European Union and the US, to discuss risks and opportunities of biofuel use. Major questions that were raised included:
- Are sustainability standards and certification of biofuels internationally acceptable and a solution to the current deadlock regarding carbon balance, impact on food prices etc.?
- Are biofuels more than a niche problem in the climate debate and thus an important issue in the post Kyoto process?
- What are the perspectives for the establishment of a world market for biofuels with or without the WTO?
Timo Kaphengst was invited to present the discussion on future bioenergy policies currently taking place among decision-making bodies in the EU, environmental and social NGOs and industry. His presentation focused on the concerns about the ambitious biofuel targets and the international implications of the current draft of sustainability standards for biofuel production. He shared a session with Timothy Searchinger from the German Marshall Fund (GMF) who presented the research results from a study on land use change which unveiled serious doubts about the carbon benefits of biofuels from crops.
The presentation [pdf, English, 435 KB] of Timo Kaphengst can be downloaded here.
A summary of the workshop is available in Spanish language.