Aaron Leopold

Kurzexposé zur Promotion von Aaron Leopold:

The introduction of certification schemes to regulate biofuels in the global economy

With mounting evidence from a number of scientific fronts pointing towards significant unintended consequences of the current global agrofuels (biofuels) push as it is currently being managed, it is imperative that research evaluating the establishment of certifiable ecological and social standards is carried out to reduce the risk of adding to, instead of alleviating, the threats to our global environment. This doctoral thesis is a critical political economic analysis of the ongoing formation of the international market for agrofuels with the overall objective of determining the feasibility and adequate design of certifiable standards within this nascent market architecture- recognizing that what is feasible is correlated to the morals and will of those in positions of power and that adequacy depends upon degrees of enforceability.

In order to achieve these goals, I evaluate the governance of this market in three globally significant producer and consumer markets: Brazil, EU and the United States. Within these case studies, knowledge creation and legitimization processes, i.e. the transition process from fundamental (science) to applied (policy) knowledge in the different national/regional contexts will be focused upon to establish criteria for successful establishment of certifiable standards. Integral to this task will be stakeholder analyses to determine loci of power and influence in policy formation processes. Actors to be considered include: government, NGOs, small scale farmers and agribusiness. Additionally, outside of the national/regional analyses sketched above, the WTO's potential to provide a nearly global fora for standards implementation, as well as its likelihood of presenting significant hindrances to standards enacted at any level, will be thoroughly discussed.