May 2007  -  Announcement of a publication

Sustainable Bioenergy: A Framework for Decision Makers


This paper on sustainable bioenergy was drafted collectively by UN-Energy members, which include all of the UN agencies, programmes, and organizations working in the area of energy, reflecting their insights and expertise. It is intended to contribute to international discussions on the strategies and policies needed to ensure economic, sustainable, and equitable development of bioenergy in the years ahead.

It points to key social, economic, and ecological sustainability issues raised by the rapid development of bioenergy in both small- and large-scale applications. It encompasses the entire bioenergy food chain, from production to use, with the goal of providing a framework for decision-makers who are considering adopting new policies or launching new investments in the bioenergy sector. It is not designed to provide prescriptive measures, but rather to identify areas that require priority attention at the national and international levels.

This publication encompasses all bioenergy systems but focuses in particular on modern bioenergy, which includes liquid biofuels, biogas, and solid biomass for heat and power generation. Traditional use of bioenergy, in the form of inefficient direct combustion, is prevalent in many poor rural regions but is not the primary focus of this document. Because of rapidly increasing attention to liquid biofuels, this paper discusses these in more detail than other forms of bioenergy.

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© FAO, 2007