The third Open Science Meeting of the Global Land Project (GLP 3rd OSM 2016), was held last week at the China National Convention Center in Beijing. The conference, aimed at bringing together the Land System Science community to present, discuss and foster progress towards a sustainable land use future, included the presentation of a working paper (with a UGA anthropology faculty contributor) on lessons learned on biofuel sustainability to date – and from these lessons they distill a set of sine qua nons for sustainable biofuel governance. From the paper's abstract:
Biofuels have been promoted worldwide under the assumption that they can support several transformative yet unresolved policy goals, such as transitioning towards a more secure and climate-friendly energy system, while delivering other co-benefits to workers and rural communities. Drawing on the best published evidence to date on performance, a set of companion papers. question many of the assumptions commonly attributed to biofuels: their carbon neutrality, their positive effect on rural livelihoods, and (in cases of under-performance) policymakers’ ability to effectively govern for sustainability. This paper takes these findings as its starting point and asks, “What next?” for countries wishing to advance national biofuel programmes as one of several options for the necessary divestment from fossil fuels. Deriving recommendations for national biofuel programmes based on past performance is no easy task.