Science-Policy Interface and the Role of Impact Assessment in the Case of Biofuels
The EU target to raise the share of biofuels in transport to 10 % by 2020 remains one of the most controversial environmental policy decisions in recent years. In this book chapter written by Timo Kaphengst and Katharina Umpfenbach of Ecologic Institute together with Bernd Hirschl and Anna Neumann, the authors examine the role of scientific evidence and impact assessments in the policy process leading up to the adoption of the Renewable Energy Directive.
The analysis clearly shows that several distinguished scientists pointed to the risks linked with the massive expansion of first generation biofuels production. However, one barrier to communication between science and policy proved to be the different ways of framing and interpreting uncertainty.
Furthermore, the case shows that the timing of scientific and policy agendas need to be more closely coordinated so that risks can be analysed and communicated in time – taking into account all relevant issues.