Agrofuels between sustainability and development - Definitions, analysis and protagonists from the point of view of science and research

May 2008

Recent press coverage has repeatedly pointed out the fact that world wide oil reserves are facing their inevitable decline. The “World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2007” report published by the International Energy Agency made waves with its warning about a significant fall-off of oil production and escalating prices by the year 2015.
In the face of this ominous scenario, a new generation of biogenous fuels has awakened optimism about being able to reduce dependency on petroleum. For this reason, innovative, sustainable and socially responsible concepts for energy resource management are in great demand. Agrofuels are seen by many to be a way out of the climate crisis and the impending energy crisis.
The present fact sheet should provide a comprehensive and objective overview of the current state of research, along with the protagonists and interest groups involved with the business of agrofuels.
According to the author, if governments had heeded the advice regarding agrofuels given by scientists in time, that is, if they had listened to the warnings various national and international experts had made, they would not be caught in the difficult situation of having supported a number of enterprises that follow unsustainable methods of production.

By: V. Bruckman, B. Habermann (Austrian Academy of Sciences)

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