Environmental, Social & Economic Impacts projects

From a Global Oil Economy to a Global Biofuel Economy - Completed

The research in this project studied the possible global consequences of a shift in fuel sources, in order to be proactive in formulating U.S. policy. Using analytic mining of relevant historic analogies, game theory and simulations, and collaborations with other scientists and colleagues at the EBI, the group developed scenarios, explicit hypotheses and models to answer questions including: How would an international biofuel political economy differ from an international oil economy? How are the petroleum and biofuel sectors interconnected, both domestically and internationally?

project Highlights

2010 Highlights

Following on the detailed case study of the Brazilian biofuel transition, Weber’s team moved toward analyzing evolving property rights systems for land in developing countries that is the target of investment by external, wealthier countries seeking food-security and biofuel-feedstock sources.  This served as a basis for developing an argument and evidence about the determinants and consequences of the main property rights innovations in land for fuel and food export.

2009 Highlights

Weber’s team built a set of scenarios that track relevant and plausible interaction effects with global trade flows, intellectual property regimes, water usage issues, and the implicit/explicit security relationships that in some cases modify and in others dominate the bargaining games between energy suppliers and consumers. They used an historical comparison to oil field concession politics during the 20th century in their analysis of property rights systems for land in developing countries.



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