- University of Oxford
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
It is against this background that our paper is aimed at making two contributions: one, to provide a ground level empirical data on bioenergy initiatives in the Indian Punjab region and, two, to examine the theoretical contribution of eco-socialist perspective to assess the sustainability potentials of bioenergy in developing economies. The eco-socialist perspective treats environmental degradation as a ‘systemic issue’ and considers the power and class structures in capitalism as the central explanatory parameters in explaining the process of environmental degradation. As a part of the transition from capitalism to eco-socialism, the eco-socialists advocate for a participatory approach to environmental decision making to ensure that ecological justice emerges as the central parameter of sustainable development.
The theoretical framing of the case study research on bioenergy projects in the region of Punjab, India was informed by the eco-socialist vision. The case study employed a ‘multiple stakeholder’ approach to explore the opportunities and contestations surrounding bioenergy projects in Punjab. Identifying key flaws as well as the promises of bioenergy in Punjab that were investigated, our research revealed that in order to be a sustainable energy alternative that meets the objective of ecological and social justice, bioenergy policies need to address the needs of local communities and be cognizant of the inherent socio-economic embeddedness of these initiatives.