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Sussex Energy Group SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research Biofuel transitions and global governance: lessons from Brazil Markku Lehtonen Sussex.

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Presentation on theme: "Sussex Energy Group SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research Biofuel transitions and global governance: lessons from Brazil Markku Lehtonen Sussex."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sussex Energy Group SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research Biofuel transitions and global governance: lessons from Brazil Markku Lehtonen Sussex Energy Group SPRU, University of Sussex

2 Sussex Energy Group SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research Outline Power: centre-periphery perspective (theory) Power: Brazil and bioethanol (practice) Conclusions: centre-periphery and transitions in theory and practice

3 Sussex Energy Group SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research Why study Brazilian ethanol transition? Largest and oldest biofuel experiment Current internationalisation of biofuels governance Proalcool brought about a significant change in regime, but which regime? radical or incremental? sustainable or not? Power relations crucially shaped the evolution of the programme & determine its sustainability

4 Sussex Energy Group SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research Why centre-periphery approach to power? Defining the regime: “centre and periphery” instead of “inside and outside” Simple model, yet recognises many dimensions of power Highly unequal, archaic power structures in Brazil (intra and inter-regional) Shifts in regime & centre-periphery internationally

5 Sussex Energy Group SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research Structure of imperialism (Galtung 1971) Cc Pc Pp Cp Centre Periphery Harmony of interest Disharmony of interest

6 Sussex Energy Group SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research Feudal centre-periphery structure (Galtung 1971) C1C1 C3C3 C4C4 C2C2 P 11 P 12 P 21 P 22 P 33 P 32 P 31 P 41 P 42

7 Sussex Energy Group SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research Dimensions of power 1.Rank = resource power Income, training, degree of organisation, type of work, geographical location 2.Relations of interaction = who wins & who loses in the exchange? economic, political, military, communication, cultural and ideological exchange 3.Structures of interaction = position in networks Communication, transport, etc. networks Sum of relations of interaction

8 Sussex Energy Group SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research Brazil at the launching of Proalcool (1975) Oil and sugar crises Car industry & Brazilian economic miracle: legitimacy of military government at stake Ethanol as a niche in transport fuel supply regime at least since the 30s: symbiotic relationship between regime and niche NE leading sugar producer until the early 50s; from then on, inexorable advancement of São Paulo Centre-periphery relationship between SP and NE – in all sectors

9 Sussex Energy Group SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research Phases of Proalcool programme Ethanol as an additive to petrol (about 20%) Harnessing of overcapacity in sugar&alcohol production 100% ethanol cars Autonomous distilleries Irreversibility Crisis: Downsizing of the programme Supply difficulties Incremental productivity improvements Flex-fuel cars High oil prices Export opportunities CDM projects Market-driven programme?

10 Sussex Energy Group SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research Levels of C-P relations 1.Transport fuel supply regime Centre = oil-based regime Periphery = ethanol 2.Sugar and alcohol sector Centre = São Paulo Periphery = Northeast 3.International biofuel regime?

11 Sussex Energy Group SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research Power relations in the transport fuel supply regime (I) Pc Pp Cp Harmony of interest Disharmony of interest Petrobras Car industry Economy and planning min. Army Cc Car owners (Cm) Env authorities SP sugar and alcohol industrialists IAA Distillery manufacturers NE sugar & alcohol sector

12 Sussex Energy Group SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research Power relations in the transport fuel supply regime (II) Rise of the ethanol niche: integral part of the regime Early phases: central roles of Petrobras, car-owning middle class, NE sugar lobby -> military government’s power (dependency on strong lobbies’ power and support) ‘Winners’ : SP industrialists, economic & env authorities, R&D institutes, MoST Accelerated decline of NE since 1986, but differences between dimensions of power

13 Sussex Energy Group SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research Power relations in the sugar and alcohol sector (I) Pc Pp Cp Harmony of interest Disharmony of interest Sugar & alcohol industrialists Copersucar Distillery manufacturing Cc Independent cane growers (Cm) Farm and factory workers CETESB Sugar&alcohol industrialists Inependent cane growers (Pm) IAA Farm & factory workers Regional env authority SP NE

14 Sussex Energy Group SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research Power relations in the sugar and alcohol sector (II) Centres in both SP and NE benefited from Proalcool Centre of Periphery (NE) suffered ; future? Ambiguous impacts on the peripheries (workers): employment yes, but working conditions? Consolidation of the centre-periphery structure, first through state subsidies, then with subsidy removal? Demand up since 2003: impacts on C-P relations?

15 Sussex Energy Group SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research Conclusions: theory C-P illustrative in analysing sugar and alcohol sector; more questionable with regard to transport fuel regime Allows analysing the multiple layers of power relations between and within regime & niches Coordinated vs. uncoordinated regime responses; contested visions, framings and SD definitions: C-P relations help to explain? Competition or cooperation between niches (periphery-periphery)? Bioethanol, biodiesel, natural gas? C-P as analogy, rather than a theory of niche-regime relationships

16 Sussex Energy Group SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research Conclusions: sustainability and biofuels governance Transition or not? Radical or incremental? Importance of ideological, cultural aspects of power: military & sovereignty, liberalism, modernisation & private car, environment Interaction between forms of power What happens in the NE when biofuels governance goes global? NGOs and Western governments’ power? Role of the Brazilian state? Ways of breaking the unequal power structures: Galtung, transition theory… Empowerment & transition management – where & by whom?

17 Sussex Energy Group SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research Sugar barons Labourers NE Sugar industrialists Labourers SP Sugar/alcohol regime Petrobras Car industry Military Energy ministry Econ authorities Proalc admin Car-owning middle class Enviro authorities US and EU governments Oil companies Biotech firms Car-owners Farmer lobbies Enviro&soc NGOs Transport fuel regime Global energy/biofuel regime

18 Sussex Energy Group SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research Future of global biofuels and Brazil Sustainability transition or not? Regime definition and criteria of assessment Power Centre-periphery framework can be helpful in conceptualising power in socio- technical transitions, but problems: Centre-periphery = niche-regime? Global biofuels governance Need to look beyond GHG and ecological impacts Accountability structures: certification? Who is to participate in the definition of criteria of certification/assessment? Can the purposive transition of the 70s be repeated and replicated, to help reach climate objectives?

19 Sussex Energy Group SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research Sugar in the Northeast of Brazil Sugar cultivated in the NE since the mid-1500s Quasi-feudal worker-employer relationships Technologically backward Regional & local politics dominated by ‘sugar barons’ Among the poorest regions of the country: provider of cheap labour and resources to the wealthy Southeast


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