Just Biofuels? Mapping dimensions of energy justice in relation to an international liquid biofuel supply chain

Blaber-Wegg, Tina (2016) Just Biofuels? Mapping dimensions of energy justice in relation to an international liquid biofuel supply chain. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

[thumbnail of FINAL_THESIS_FOR_PRINTING_260516.pdf]
Download (5MB) | Preview


It is argued in this thesis that it is morally right to identify and address matters of energy justice associated with renewable energy technologies - and thus biofuels. Equity appraisals, as defined in this thesis, can help to identify social and environmental burdens caused by the implementation of these technologies and where they exist, thus helping to understand the extent to which global sustainable development ideals to reduce inequalities are being achieved. This study is the first equity appraisal of an internationally-traded (Brazil-UK) liquid biofuel (sugarcane bioethanol), across both sites of production and consumption, conducted in a manner advocated by energy justice and environmental justice theories. Furthermore, this study provides the first empirical insights in this context of the ways that principal dimensions of energy justice can interrelate and specifically how matters of procedural justice and recognition can drive distributional changes in outcomes amongst people connected and affected to a transnational liquid biofuel supply chain. Primary qualitative data collected from people living in producer and consumption localities revealed that the nature and geographical patterning of issues differed from the views of transnational governance actors and experts. Rather than the majority of burdens lying with those living in Brazil, and UK-based consumers largely indifferent and unaffected, this research found both positive and negative equity issues affecting people at both ends of the supply chain. Matters of recognition and procedural injustice were found to be affecting consumers, affecting their abilities to engage effectively with their liquid biofuels purchases that could help drive the consumption of more sustainable, just and socially acceptable biofuels. Conversely, higher levels of recognition of local communities and associated impacts in this particular Brazilian production locality were found to be improving social and environmental outcomes for residents. This research highlights the importance of situated, contextual, primary qualitative data for equity appraisals of liquid biofuels and other renewable technologies. It is argued that these types of appraisals should be conducted more systematically in the field to supplement existing forms of appraisals, support decision-making processes and improve the chances of achieving energy justice in relation to renewable energy technologies.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Users 7376 not found.
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2016 11:56
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2016 11:56
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/59398


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item