Biofuels and Rural Poverty
By Joy Clancy
Routledge – 2013 – 206 pages
Biofuels and Rural Poverty makes an original contribution to the current controversial global debate on biofuels, in particular the consequences that large-scale production of transport fuel substitutes can have on rural areas, principally in developing countries but also in some poor rural areas of developed countries.
Three key concerns are examined from a North-South perspective: ecological issues (related to land use and biodiversity), pro-poor policies (related to food and land security, gender and income generation) and equity of benefits within the global value chain. Can biofuels be pro-poor? Can smallholder farmers be equitably integrated in the biofuels global supply chain? Is the biofuels production chain detrimental to biodiversity?
Most other books available on biofuels take a technical approach and are aimed at addressing energy security or climate change issues. This title focuses on the socio-economic impacts on rural people's livelihoods, offering a unique perspective on the potential role of biofuels in reducing rural poverty.
"The book makes a valuable contribution because it is able to exploit a niche of the biofuel debate that is often mentioned but glossed over, that is, the effects that larger-scale production of biofuels may have on the rural poor … In summary, Joy Clancy’s Biofuels and Rural Poverty makes an important contribution to the literature on biofuels, particularly in the aspects of land ownership and access, gender gaps, and equitability in the distribution of benefits to the poor." – Shahnila Islam, International Journal of Water Resources Development
"I can recommend the book to those who work in any area of development economics with links to renewable energy. I have worked in the fields of development economics and renewable energy economics, and my opinion is that this book applies well to both." - Wallace E. Tyner, Purdue University in BioScience (2013)
1. Introduction 2. Energy and Rural Poverty 3. The Impacts of Large-scale Biofuel Production in Rural Communities 4. How Does Large-Scale Liquid Biofuel Production Affect Socio-Ecological Systems and Ecosystem Services? 5. Liquid Biofuel Production and Rural Communities’ Food Security 6. Do Liquid Biofuels address Rural Energy and Poverty Issues? 7. Can Biofuels be Made Pro-Poor?
Joy Clancy is Associate Professor in Technology and Development at the University of Twente, the Netherlands. She has published extensively on development, energy and poverty.