Biofuels for transport

Sustainable Liquid Biofuels Development for Transport

Frequently asked questions and Review of initiatives


Increased worldwide concern about the sustainability of large-scale production of liquid biofuels for transporthas led certain governments and institutions to start developing sustainability standards in order to assess the environmental and social performances of this production. Several initiatives are being developed worldwide and some controversial issues and questions arise when trying to tackle sustainability assessment in this context.

This document comes to enrich a sometimes harsh discussion. Biofuels, as an alternative to a full reliance on fossil fuel and a strategy to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions, are increasingly attacked from a point of view of sustainability. The question is raised whether the cure could be worst than the disease.

The Context of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)


The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has evolved in 1992 from the former Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) existing since 1980. The SADC aims at regional integration, sustainable growth and alleviation of poverty in the member countries. Fourteen countries make up the Southern African Development Community (SADC): Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Biofuels production represents an opportunity for the region to increase energy supply security and to give a boost to rural economies by opening markets for agricultural surpluses, creating jobs and encouraging mechanization of agricultural practices. However, climatic, agronomic, ecological and policy factors can hamper the industry development in the region. In that sense, a clear definition of objectives and a careful implementation that takes into account sustainability as well as socio-economic aspects are much needed from policy makers.