International Trade in Biofuels: Legal and Regulatory Issues

Governments around the world are betting heavily on biofuels as one part of a solution to a wide range of public policy challenges, from environmental sustainability in the face of climate change, to energy security given rising geopolitical instability, to economic growth especially in rural regions and developing countries.

Policy interventions typically take the form of legal and regulatory measures, for example, to drive demand for renewable fuels through mandates, or to subsidize costs through financial and other supports for production and processing of feedstock and output fuels. Such complex legal/regulatory mechanisms combine to create a multi-level or network system of governance.

This peer-reviewed article, co-authored with Stuart Smyth and published in The Estey Centre Journal of International Law and Trade Policy, analyzes the implications of this complex framework for the production and international trading of biofuels.

Download the paper via the Social Sciences Research Network. Content from this article is based on my research supported by the VALGEN project, and pre-published as a working paper on Network Governance of Biofuels.