Bioenergy and Ecosocialism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

The global energy sector is plagued by a multi-pronged crisis comprising declining oil reserves, extensive ecological damage, and high degree of energy poverty in developing countries. These concerns have led to a shift towards bioenergy sources by national governments across both developing and developed countries. Bioenergy was seen as a very promising energy alternative for developing countries at the beginning of the twenty-first century. However, many adverse impacts of commercial bioenergy production have come to the forefront in recent years. These include indirect land use change, heightened food insecurity across many developing countries, and land grabs by commercial bioenergy producers. This chapter contributes to the emerging literature on the subject by developing an ecosocialist framework to inform sustainable bioenergy imperatives. The ecosocialist perspective on environmental policymaking stands in direct contrast to the mainstream neo-classical paradigm on sustainability, rooted in the technocratic and market-oriented solutions to the ecological crisis. On the other hand, ecosocialists argue that the current environmental and energy crisis is essentially rooted in the model of production and consumption in advanced capitalist economies. This model is based on the sole objective of accumulation of capital and profits, without taking into account the indiscriminate use of natural resources and damage to the ecosystem. Ecosocialists contend that sustainability can be achieved only by moving beyond the micro definition of energy concerns as an isolated technocratic project to the macro understanding of these issues and recognition of the essential “social embeddedness of technology.”
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Ecosocialism
EditorsLeigh Brownhill, Salvatore Engel-Di Mauro, Terran Giacomini, Ana Isla, Michael Löwy, Terisa E. Turner
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter31
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780429341427
ISBN (Print)9780367357290
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 9 Nov 2021

Publication series

NameRoutledge International Handbooks
PublisherRoutledge

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