Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law

Exploring new research directions for achieving a sustainable future: what can be learned from the biofuel weed risk case study?

Dr Elodie Le Gal *

Keywords: sustainability, biofuel weed risk case study, implementation issues


The quest for achieving a sustainable future and addressing climate change risks by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the policy challenges raised by wicked public policy problems, such as poverty and inequality issues, the risks of policy failures from legal innovations and the search for behaviourally effective governance models, all these aspects of the sustainability challenge are illustrated in the specific context of the biofuel weed crop risk case study which provides the basis for the present discussion around sustainable governance innovations, implementation issues and the need for new research directions to achieve key sustainable goals. Drawing upon empirical findings, this publication intends to highlight the key lessons that can be learned from this case study for the purpose of implementing governance innovations in the context of the new United Nations sustainable development goals adopted in 2015. It particularly highlights three main research directions in areas which remain underexplored in environmental legal research for improving governance models and achieving a sustainable future. These are the use of non-legal perspectives from the social sciences for improving environmental law scholarship, further enquiry into risk concepts, and the incorporation of social justice considerations into environmental market-based approaches.

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