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Eco-efficiency, self-sufficiency and sustainability in transport: the limits for Brazilian sugarcane ethanol policy

Wells, Peter Erskine and Faro, Thaisa 2011. Eco-efficiency, self-sufficiency and sustainability in transport: the limits for Brazilian sugarcane ethanol policy. Natural Resources Forum 35 (1) , pp. 21-31. 10.1111/j.1477-8947.2010.01340.x

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This paper examines the historic development of the Brazilian sugarcane ethanol sector and the largely successful attempt to create a sustainable, renewable fuel for the transport sector. The policy that resulted from this process is an example of meeting the need for sustainable transport through the consideration of location-specific characteristics and appropriate policy. The paper then questions the current and expected trajectory of the sugarcane ethanol sector with the focus on one key question: can sustainability be exported? In this analysis, the paper identifies new threats to the sustainability of Brazilian sugarcane ethanol and potential “opportunity costs” incurred in further development and internationalization of the sector. The paper concludes that exporting sugarcane ethanol may bring unanticipated deleterious consequences, which in turn means that both policy and theory need to be more precise about how sustainable transport is defined and bounded by time and space.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Centre for Advanced Manufacturing Systems At Cardiff (CAMSAC)
Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Uncontrolled Keywords: Brazil ; Sugarcane ethanol ; Automotive industry ; Self-reliant development ; Sustainable mobility ; Transport policy
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0165-0203
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:12

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