What kind of, and whose, sustainability counts? – Implications of EU’s Renewable Energy Directive in sub-Saharan Africa

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


The European Union (EU) plays a globally influential role in environmental legislation, with policies and regulation rooted in particular norms. Through a narrative on regulatory capitalism, ecological modernization, and diffusion, we trace how the promotion of renewable energy in transport through subsidies, mandatory targets, and prescriptive criteria for liquid biofuels, has impacts beyond the EU. The study identifies prevailing norms, mechanisms of decision making, and the network of actors involved in this regulatory regime, and how its expansion influences outcomes in Tanzania. Findings show how this regime emphasizes systematic eco-innovation of energy technologies, has an interchangeable approach to natural capital, and weighs social concerns as subordinate to economic efficiency. Through top-down diffusion via project developers, investors, and experts, the regime aggravates challenges in Tanzania as regards to policy, tenure and land-use, explored in three different settings. These relations are concluded as essential for climate change mitigation strategies in the EU.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch
EventBiofuels and (ir)responsible innovation: tensions between policy, practice and sustainable development - Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Duration: 2015 Apr 132015 Apr 14


ConferenceBiofuels and (ir)responsible innovation: tensions between policy, practice and sustainable development
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