Table of Contents

The Law and Policy of Biofuels

The Law and Policy of Biofuels

The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law series

Edited by Yves Le Bouthillier, Annette Cowie, Paul Martin and Heather McLeod-Kilmurray

In the last twenty years the biofuels industry has developed rapidly in many regions of the world. This book provides an in-depth and critical study of the law and policies in many of the key biofuels producing countries, such as Brazil, China, the US, as well as the EU, and a number of other countries where this industry is quickly developing. The multidisciplinary contributors examine the roles of the public and private sectors in the governance of biofuels. They propose recommendations for more effective and efficient biofuel policies.

Chapter 12: Biofuels, GMOs and food security: the South African legal and policy framework

Odile Juliette Lim Tung

Subjects: environment, energy policy and regulation, environmental law, law - academic, energy law, environmental law


With oil peak and climate change, dependence on fossil fuels in South Africa (SA) is a strategic concern with respect to oil imports, in particular for fuel transport. In 2005, 36% of the energy demand in SA was met by local coal and natural gas, while imported crude oil met the remaining 64%. Since 1998, to respond to growing energy demand for transport fuel and electricity generation, biofuels have been part of the country’s renewable energy package. While biofuels are beneficial for alternative transport fuels, electricity generation and other uses because they reduce dependence on oil, there is a need for a careful weighing of benefits and detriments. Millions of tons of biomass are needed to replace a significant proportion of the fossil fuel used in transport. The savings of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through fossil fuels replacement may not be greater than the emissions that are generated when biofuels are produced. For biofuels to be sustainable as a less carbon-intensive replacement for petroleum products, it needs to adopt a sustainable management approach to biodiversity and natural resources throughout the value chain. Biofuels is one among many other renewable energy sources and should be measured against other renewable energy sources to improve energy security and promote rural development.

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