Appropriate Climate Change Solutions: Towards Sustainable Bioenergy Agro-production in Africa for Energy Equality and Poverty Alleviation

By Ian Duvenage, Ros Taplin and Lindsay C. Stringer.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Limited energy access within developing nations particularly in Africa is a primary reason for poverty. Biofuel production has been advocated by many experts as a solution to meeting the energy needs of African countries while reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Others argue that biofuel production will compete with land needed for food production. However it appears many African countries have available land beyond food needs, hence biofuel production may be an option for poor farmers to gain skills, create economic diversification and provide affordable energy without environmental degradation. This paper reviews the situation in Africa with regard to biofuels and sustainability. It argues that biofuels produced within a sustainable production framework, could improve rural infrastructure, job opportunities, education and health. A new bioenergy production framework is proposed which includes a novel element: agro-management alongside other sustainability elements. The framework is designed as a prerequisite for bioenergy project proposals in Africa. Addressing climate change by advancing biofuels, taking into account equality, land rights and environmental considerations, may be achieved in many African countries, with the implementation of such a framework.

Keywords: Africa, Agro-production, Biofuels, Climate Change, Land Degradation, Sustainability

International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.101-114. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 937.032KB).

Ian Duvenage

Department of Sustainability Science in the Institute of Sustainable Development and Architecture, Bond University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Ian Duvenage has 20 years experience in agro-production management and consultancy, specialising in hydro engineering and agricultural engineering. He was formerly involved in rural development, including research in plant species and minimal impact agronomic practices. Following seven years experience in urban development in Australia his interests have extended to environmental protection and sustainable rural development. He is currently researching sustainable bioenergy production and bioenergy policy for developing countries at Bond University.

Dr. Ros Taplin

Professor of Environmental Management & Program Director, School of Sustainable Development, Bond University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Ros Taplin is Professor of Environmental Management and Head of the Department of Sustainability Science in the Institute of Sustainable Development and Architecture, Bond University. She was formerly the Director of Environmental Management Program and a Director of the Climatic Impacts Centre, Macquarie University and has held positions at the University of Adelaide and RMIT University, Melbourne. Her current research interests include: climate change adaptation decision-making; renewable energy policy; climate change mitigation approaches including the Clean Development Mechanism and emissions trading; and corporate responses to climate change.

Lindsay C. Stringer

University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

Lindsay Stringer is Co-Director of the Sustainability Research Institute at the University of Leeds, UK. Lindsay's research is interdisciplinary and uses theories and methods from both the natural and social sciences to understand environmental changes and their socio-economic effects. She has field experience in several countries in Africa, UK and Eastern Europe. Lindsay has published extensively and presented her work at international conferences across the world.

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