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

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:

IÖW Project Team

  • Dr. Elisa Dunkelberg
  • Jana Gandert
  • Richard Harnisch
  • Katharina Heinbach
  • Anna Neumann
  • Thomas Vogelpohl