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 14: Trends in government incentives for biofuels

Warren E. Mabee, Lauren D. Malo and Ashton R. Taylor

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


Since the 1970s, biofuels have been promoted as a potential solution to a range of issues. Development of biofuels derived from corn, or from other crops (wheat, oilseeds and agricultural residues), can diversify and strengthen rural economies. Incentives to support this sector have enjoyed political support from rural representatives in both the USA and Canada. Biofuels can help address energy security by providing a domestic alternative to imported petroleum. Finally, production of biofuels is associated with lower greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline or diesel and can thus be considered part of climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. Policy tools have been essential in increasing biofuel production in pursuit of these three goals. These tools may be grouped into three categories: (1) funding for research, development and demonstration; (2) producer, consumer or market incentives; and (3) mandates or renewable fuel standards. These have been fundamental to the growth of the US and Canadian biofuel sector, and particularly the ethanol industry, which is by far the most widely used type of biofuel in these countries.

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