Certification for sustainable biofuels

A.J.K. Pols

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

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Certification for sustainable biofuels has been developed to ensure that biofuel production methods adhere to social and environmental sustainability standards. As such, requiring biofuels to be certified has become part of policy documents such as the EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED) that aim to promote energy security, reduce emissions and promote rural development. According to the EU RED, in 2020 10% of our transport energy should come from renewable sources, including biofuels. Only certified biofuels may count towards this target. In this paper I examine what biofuel certificates are, what they can do and what their weak points are. I argue that the EU RED makes an important but unjustified assumption in demanding certified biofuels for its target: that if biofuel production is sustainable, then biofuel use is too. Applying the use plan approach from the philosophy of technology to biofuel certification, I show why this assumption is unjustified and why the EU is in fact making ‘improper use’ of biofuel certification. Finally, I discuss ways in which biofuel certification could be used in working towards the EU RED’s goals.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication11th Congress of the European Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics (EurSafe 2013) : The ethics of consumption : The citizen, the market and the law, September 11-14, 2013, Uppsala, Sweden
EditorsH. Röcklinsberg, P. Sandin
Place of PublicationWageningen
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event11th Congress of the European Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics, (EurSafe2013) - Uppsala, Sweden
Duration: 11 Sept 201314 Sept 2013


Conference11th Congress of the European Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics, (EurSafe2013)
OtherEurSafe 2013
Internet address


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