Biofuels, A Sustainable Alternative to Fossil Fuels?

Jacob P. Dinn

Abstract


Finding a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels is important for mitigating climate change. Currently, there is no sustainable alternative to fossil fuels that is affordable, accessible, and manageable on a global scale. A commonly proposed alternative to fossil fuels is biofuels, which are fuels composed of plant-based materials (e.g. maize and sugarcane). In this article, I will explore whether biofuels are a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. I argue that the use of biofuels should not increase as an alternative to fossil fuels because of the negative implications biofuels have on environmental sustainability, food security, and poverty. Using a contentious political economy framework posed by Neville (2015), I show that negative biofuel implications often intersect with each other. This work contributes to the field of political economy, and to green energy policy. In finding that biofuels are not a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, investments in new technologies will help find an alternative that is affordable, accessible, and manageable.     

  


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