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The politics of European agencements: constructing a market of sustainable biofuels

Abstract : The sustainability of biofuels has been the subject of heated debates in Europe. The 2009 Renewable Energy Directive (RED) introduced criteria meant to define whether biofuels are sustainable. These criteria, relating to the level of greenhouse gas emissions and the types of land used to produce biofuels, are expected to be implemented through certification schemes associating private companies and public bodies (whether national or European). Using recent works in the sociology of markets, I consider these sustainability schemes as agencements, a lens for the study of the construction of a market in sustainable biofuels and for the analysis of European integration. I focus on the mass balance system, which, meant to track the circulation of biofuels qualified as sustainable, is a compromise, implemented at the price of pervasive uncertainties and difficulties. The European political and economic organisation is at stake in discussions related to the extent of the control exercised through the sustainability schemes by virtue of the mass balance system, and a politics of subsidiarity and a politics of harmonisation are at the heart of the making of a European market for sustainable biofuels. The description of the agencements organising European markets in sustainable biofuels points to the importance of coexistence as an economic and political operation.
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Submitted on : Friday, August 29, 2014 - 11:42:27 AM
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Brice Laurent. The politics of European agencements: constructing a market of sustainable biofuels. Environmental Politics, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2014, pp.18. ⟨10.1080/09644016.2014.927190⟩. ⟨hal-01059070⟩



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