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The role of scientific uncertainties in the policy making process of biofuels

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The role of scientific uncertainties in the policy making process of biofuels

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Samenvatting

It is said that environmental problems are research dependent. Science is in these cases needed to identify a phenomenon such as climate change. New technologies can be characterized both by
scientific uncertainties and research dependence (Yearley, 1996). An example of this is the case of biofuels. A few years ago, biofuels were thought to be a sustainable solution for the greenhouse
gas emissions in the transport sector and the dependence of oil. After that, they became questioned because of adverse environmental impacts and emission savings (Environmental
Audit Committee, 2008a).
In the beginning of 2008, the European Commission proposed a directive on renewable energy, which included a binding target of 10% for biofuels. The European Parliament and the European Council agreed on an outcome in December 2008 (Europa, 2008). This paper traces the process of the policy making of biofuels in order to research the influence of scientific criticism. In order to complete this research, literature is reviewed and a lot of desk research has been done. The hypotheses which derived from extensive research, regard the influence of scientific criticism.
To start with, a short introduction to climate change is given, since that is the reason for the existence of biofuels. Secondly, the meaning of biofuels for the transport sector is explained and
what role the European Union plays in the biofuel issue. In this section the reasons for scientific concerns regarding biofuels are also given. After that, an explanation of the influence of science
in politics is given. Two views on the influence of science are outlined in order to see what the influence of scientific critique could have on policy-making processes. The fourth chapter is about the policy making process of the biofuel policy specifically.
The outcome implies that the scientific criticism was not able to affect the outcome of the policy but definitely had some impact on the different institutions of the European Union.

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OrganisatieDe Haagse Hogeschool
OpleidingESC Europese Studies / European Studies
AfdelingAcademie voor European Studies & Communication
Partners0; 0
Jaar2010
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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