The Quest for Alternatives to Fossil Fuel and the Need to Ensure Sustainability: Why International Regulatory Bodies Must Strike the Right Balance
15 Pages Posted: 25 May 2008
Date Written: August 2008
This paper evaluated the on-going developments in the bio-energy sector from a global perspective. It found some verisimilitudes between today's manoeuvres for beneficial stand-points by states and private investors alike to the jostling that took place in the early days of the discovery of the now much maligned oil. The paper seeks a soul searching of developing countries (DCs), especially West African (W/A) states who have been prominent oil exporters but have little economic success to show for it.
It compared international energy regulations of the pre-1987 (WCED report) era and the institutional and regulatory mechanisms in place today and found that a new, pragmatic, effective and more equitable regime is now in place given that the previous regulatory approach was in part responsible for the environmental and economic woes of oil producing DCs. It therefore called upon pioneer stakeholders in the W/A bio energy sector to 'step into line' and have confidence in international regulatory bodies (WTO & UNFCCC particularly) to guide them through their teething period. It recounts hurdles in the form of concerns that are still abound regarding bio energy and advises that 'caution' and working within the auspices of international regulations would be the ultimate indemnifier. As the jury are still out over key issues regarding bio-fuel, further researches should be carried out in order to allay societal concerns and carry every one along - after all, the world is desperate for a cleaner and renewable source of energy. Equally, the benefits of bio-energy will certainly compensate today's investors if it is proved capable of finally drawing curtains on the oil era in a sustainable manner.
Keywords: alternative energy, biofuels, developing countries, West Africa
JEL Classification: L70, L79, K00, K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation