International trade in biofuels: Good for development? And good for environment?
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The piece calls for international trade barriers, especially subsidies, to be relaxed to enable developing countries to reap the benefits of the biofuels trade, and for certification schemes to take account of the real environmental and social conditions in such countries. Biofuels have been promoted as a means of creating jobs and wealth in developing nations, while cutting greenhouse gas emissions in the industrialised world, where demand for biofuels is set to skyrocket to meet ambitious targets. But current trade regimes are not fit for encouraging synergies and sorting out trade-offs. Any benefits from biofuels trade could be undermined if the sector continues to expand without improved policies and international coordination.