Environmental, Social & Economic Impacts projects

Explaining, Contextualizing and Comparing Bioenergy Lifecycles in Brazil -- Completed

To inform and improve global bioenergy decision-making, this project provided a broad and thorough analysis of the effects of bioenergy development, influences on its origins and directions, and the implications for governance. The research identified the cumulative, far-reaching, and place-specific impacts of bioenergy production. This team focused on biofuels production in Brazil because of the long legacy of biofuels production there, and because Brazil has aggressively pushed its biofuels model for use by other nations.

project Highlights

2011 Highlights

The team completed a field survey of farmers in Northern Brazil (n=104) on the determinants of agricultural intensification. The principal focus was how farm size, land quality and market access influence farming and ranching practices. Alastair Iles' group also completed a research project analyzing how environmental justice concerns are and are not incorporated into biofuels governance in the U.S. and Brazil.

2010 Highlights

The team completed research on the environmental justice impacts of ethanol production in the U.S. and Brazil. Iles’ group evaluated the environmental and worker impacts of expanding biodiesel production in northeast Brazil. They continued researching the links between climate change debates and biofuel policymaking in Brazil and how governmental and non-governmental policies for biofuels have shaped the evolution of ethanol in Brazil and the U.S.

2009 Highlights

The project compared the role of government in organizing and regulating biofuel industries in Brazil and the U.S. Researchers also analyzed the climate impacts of cattle ranching intensification in Brazil. They expect these findings to have ramifications for land-use-change science used to assess the climate benefits of biofuel. The Iles group also examined workplace-related accidents, human rights, and labor issues in the sugarcane-ethanol sector, including fieldwork at sugar mills in Brazil.

 

Publications

Published in 2010

The Expansion of Sugarcane-Ethanol in Brazil and Controversies Surrounding Human Rights, Renata Marson Teixeira de Andrade, Andrew Miccolis, Part 4 chapter from the book Controversies in Science and Technology Volume 3: From Evolution to Energy, ISBN13 978-1-934854-20-4, 2010.

The Expansion of Sugarcane-Ethanol in Brazil and Controversies Surrounding Human Rights, Teixeira de Andrade and Andrew Miccolis, Controversies in Science and Technology: From Evolution to Energy, 3, Fall 2010.

The Politics of Estimating the Greenhouse Gas Impacts of Biofuels, Alistair Iles, Controversies in Science and Technology: From Evolution to Energy, Vol. 3, Fall 2010.

Ecosystem Services: From Eye-Opening Metaphor to Complexity Blinder, Richard Norgaard, Ecological Economics, 69(6): pp. 1219-1227, April 2010.

The Climate Impacts of Bioenergy Systems Depend on Market and Regulatory Policy Contexts, Derek Lemoine, Richard Plevin, Avery Cohn, Andrew Jones, Adam Brandt, Sintana Vergara, Daniel Kammen, Environmental Science and Technology, 44(19): pp. 7347-7350, September 13, 2010.

 


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