Biofuels and the Globalisation of Risk (J. Smith)

Author

James Smith

Keywords

Globalisation, Risk, Responsibility, Biofuels, Politics, Bioenergy, Biofuel Policy, Indian Global-Local Dialectics, Bioethanol, Energy, South, Unglobalisation of Food

Abstract

Biofuels and the Globalisation of Risk offers the reader a fresh and compelling analysis of the politics and policies behind the biofuel story, critically examining the technological optimism and often-idealised promises it makes for the future. Starting with a brief history of bioenergy policy, the book goes on to explore the evolution of biofuels as a policy narrative, as a development ideal and as a socio-technical system through a series of interlinked case studies from Africa, Asia and Latin America. Smith argues that the nature of biofuels, so debated and contested, allow us to understand the relationships between and possible impacts of climate change, globalisation and development in entirely new ways and in doing so allow us to better understand the shifting dynamics of risk, responsibility and impact that investment in biofuels creates.

This essential new critique argues that the support for biofuels points to a deep reconfiguration of risk and responsibility and new forms of environmental determinism where the global south is encouraged to re-orient its agro-food systems towards biofuel crop production in order to allow the global north not to meaningfully engage with altering its levels of consumption, energy use or unsustainable development. Therefore, he argues, risks and responsibilities migrate from north to south and biofuels may constitute the biggest change in North-South relationships since colonialism.

Citation

James Smith, Biofuels and the Globalisation of Risk: The Biggest Change in North-South Relationships Since Colonialism? (Zed Banks, 2010)

Book

Biofuels and the Globalisation of Risk: The Biggest Change in North-South Relationships Since Colonialism?