University of Bath

Biofuels, development and sustainability in sub-Saharan Africa

An IPR Policy Brief exploring corporate strategies to promote biofuel sustainability.

In sub-Saharan Africa, biofuels have been hailed as a new form of green capitalism. But are they really able to deliver ‘win-win’ outcomes for communities, governments and companies, mitigate climate change and promote ‘pro poor’ development.

Qualitative research carried out by Dr Roy Maconachie and Dr Elizabeth Fortin explores corporate strategies to promote biofuel sustainability. It focuses on Sierra Leone, and considers the importance of global, national and local agendas in the development of its emerging biofuel sector.

The research considers how international policy agendas, rather than local concerns, have influenced national environment-development policies and corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies. It also looks at the implications of biofuel production for local sustainability. The research informs key policy debates relating to: a) CSR and community development; and b) land investment and ‘green’ development in sub-Saharan Africa.