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What kind of, and whose, sustainability counts? – Implications of EU’s Renewable Energy Directive in sub-Saharan Africa

  • David Harnesk
  • Sara Brogaard
Publishing year: 2015
Language: English
Document type: Conference paper: abstract

Abstract english

The European Union (EU) plays a globally influential role in environmental legislation, with policies and regulation rooted in particular norms. Through a narrative on regulatory capitalism, ecological modernization, and diffusion, we trace how the promotion of renewable energy in transport through subsidies, mandatory targets, and prescriptive criteria for liquid biofuels, has impacts beyond the EU. The study identifies prevailing norms, mechanisms of decision making, and the network of actors involved in this regulatory regime, and how its expansion influences outcomes in Tanzania. Findings show how this regime emphasizes systematic eco-innovation of energy technologies, has an interchangeable approach to natural capital, and weighs social concerns as subordinate to economic efficiency. Through top-down diffusion via project developers, investors, and experts, the regime aggravates challenges in Tanzania as regards to policy, tenure and land-use, explored in three different settings. These relations are concluded as essential for climate change mitigation strategies in the EU.


  • Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences


Biofuels and (ir)responsible innovation: tensions between policy, practice and sustainable development
Sara Brogaard
E-mail: sara [dot] brogaard [at] lucsus [dot] lu [dot] se

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