FAIR FUELS? A socio-ecological multi-level Analysis of the Possibilities of and Limits to the international Use of Biofuels

Thematic Research Group
Period: May 2008 - June 2014
Supported by: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Berlin
Cooperation Partners: Institute for Latin American Studies (LAI) of the Freie Universität Berlin;
German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Bonn;

Involved IÖW employees: Dr. Elisa Dunkelberg, Prof. Dr. Bernd Hirschl (Project leader), Thomas Vogelpohl, Anna Neumann, Richard Harnisch, Jana Gandert


The project “FAIR FUELS?” addresses the question of the extent to which biofuels can be produced and used in a socio-ecologically compatible manner. Since biofuels are produced regionally but the products and raw materials are traded internationally and the subsidies policy is influenced by national and international agreements in various policy areas, a socio-ecological multi-level analysis of the production, use, subsidies policy and transformation potential of biofuels is conducted.

The project is subdivided into several country case studies and supra-regional cross-section components, which are interlinked, as well as an integrating result component. In addition to the country case studies in an industrial nation (Germany), a newly industrialisng country (Brazil) and at least one African developing country, specific issues are addressed with regard to the role of international politics, energy and ecological evaluation as well as the political instruments for dealing with socio-ecological conflicts (e.g. certification systems).

The project initiated and led by the IÖW involves a group of young scientists which is sponsored within the framework of the socio-ecological research programme of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the aim being for team members to obtain academic qualifications.

Project website: www.fair-fuels.de



Publication of the project:

Dunkelberg, Elisa (2014)
Vogelpohl, Thomas; Dunkelberg, Elisa; Mondou, Matthieu (2014)
Vogelpohl, Thomas (2014)
Vogelpohl, Thomas (2014)
Hirschl, Bernd; Dietz, Kristina; Vogelpohl, Thomas; Dunkelberg, Elisa; Backhouse, Maria; Herrmann, Raoul; Brüntrup, Michael (Hrsg.) (2014)
oekom verlag, München
Dunkelberg, Elisa (2014)
Mensch und Buch Verlag, Berlin
Hirschl, Bernd; Kaphengst, Timo; Neumann, Anna; Umpfenbach, Katharina (2012)
Dunkelberg, Elisa; Finkbeiner, Matthias; Hirschl, Bernd (2011)
Dunkelberg, Elisa; Lehnert, Josephin; Neumann, Anna (2011)
Vogelpohl, Thomas (2010)

Selected presentations of

Hirschl, Bernd
FairFuels? - Biokraftstoffe zwischen Sackgasse und Energiewende: Diskurse, Effekte und Konflikte aus transnationaler Perspektive
Berlin, 19 Apr 2014
Hirschl, Bernd
Workshop 10. BMBF-Forum für Nachhaltigkeit
Leipzig, 09 Sep 2013
Dunkelberg, Elisa
Konferenz International Biomass Conference 2013
Leipzig, 05 Jun 2013 - 07 Jun 2014
Dunkelberg, Elisa
Konferenz ILUC – Ein fallstudienbasierter Ansatz zur Quantifizierung
Berlin, 19 Apr 2013
Vogelpohl, Thomas; Dunkelberg, Elisa
Conference 2012 Berlin Conference on Evidence for Sustainable Development
Berlin, 05 Oct 2012 - 06 Oct 2012
Dunkelberg, Elisa
Conference Africa Berlin International Conference 2012
Berlin, 27 Aug 2012 - 31 Aug 2012
Vogelpohl, Thomas
Conference 7th International Conference in Interpretive Policy Analysis: Understanding the Drama of Democracy. Policy Work, Power and Transformation.
Tilburg, NL, 05 Jul 2012 - 07 Jul 2012
Conference Lund Conference on Earth System Governance - Towards a Just and Legitimate Earth System Governance: Addressing Inequalities
Lund, SE, 18 Apr 2012 - 20 Apr 2012
Vogelpohl, Thomas
Workshop International Workshop “Beyond Efficiency – Exploring the Political and Institutional Dimensions of Marketbased Instruments for Ecosystem Services”
Berlin, 13 Mar 2012 - 14 Mar 2012
Dunkelberg, Elisa
Konferenz World Sustainable Energy Days 2012
Wels, Austria, 29 Feb 2012 - 02 Mar 2012
Dunkelberg, Elisa
Conference World Renewable Energy Congress (WREC)
Linköping, Sweden, 08 May 2011 - 13 May 2011
Vogelpohl, Thomas
Conference Berlin Conference 2010
Berlin, 09 Oct 2010
Vogelpohl, Thomas
Conference Sussex Energy Group Conference 2010
Brighton (GB), 25 Feb 2010
Hirschl, Bernd
Abschlussveranstaltung des Projekts "bio-global"
Berlin, 02 Dec 2009
Topic: Water and Land Management, Climate and Energy
Research field: Sustainable Energy and Climate Protection