Congresos y reuniones científicas
Putting Transnational "Hybrid" Governance to Work: An Examination of EU-Red's Implementation in the Argentinean Biodiesel Value Chain
Porto Alegre
Conferencia; IV ISA Forum of Sociology; 2021
Institución organizadora:
International Socilogy Association
The struggle for environmental preservation has increasingly been shaped as a crusade for the reduction of greenhouse gas emission. In this battle, the replacement of fossil fuels has become a key objective. Biofuels have been heavily promoted as an emissions-saving alternative, making their worldwide production and trade grow significantly. However, many critical voices have raised concern about their sustainability, questioning their actual capacity to reduce emissions and the detrimental effects that the expansion of agricultural frontiers has on ecosystems and biodiversity. Against this background, the European Union (EU) decided to include a number of sustainability requirements in its key regulation: the Renewable Energy Directive (EU-RED).This initiative has attracted the attention of governance scholars due to its ?hybrid? character: the EU, a formal political authority, has set sustainability requirements in the form of a meta-standard, while it is left to private certifications to control their adoption and implementation by producers and traders. Through its resort to certification schemes, the EU?s regulatory power expands transnationally, allowing for its meta-standard to shape the practices of actors overseas.Much has been discussed about the comprehensiveness of EU-RED?s meta-standard and the way in which different certification schemes have translated it into their own standards. However, only a few empirical analyses have examined EU-RED?s actual implementation transnationally. In this paper we propose to look at the concrete way in which the notion of sustainability defined in EU-RED?s meta-standard is materialized in the case of soy-based biodiesel produced in Argentina and consumed in the EU. We are interested in determining the way in which this transnational and hybrid governance initiative manages to promote sustainability in Argentina?s biodiesel sector by looking both at its concrete social, economic and environmental effects and at the way in which relations of coordination between actors are affected along the value chain.