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CID Working Paper No. 174

Biofuels and Sustainable Development
Henry Lee, William C. Clark, and Charan Devereaux

July, 2008
Abstract
The goals and concerns surrounding the debate over government policies related to the greater use and production of biofuels were addressed in an executive session convened by the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Venice International University on May 19th and 20th, 2008. The session attracted more than 25 of the world's leading experts from the fields of policy, science, and business to San Servolo Island for an intensive two day session (see Appendix A for a list of the participants). The discussions were off-the-record, with each participant present in his or her own capacity, rather than representing an organization. The session was one in a series on Grand Challenges of the Sustainability Transition organized by the Sustainability Science Program at Harvard University with the generous support of the Italian Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea. This particular session was held as part of the Ministry’s ongoing work with the Global Bioenergy Program established at the G8 Gleneagles Summit in 2005.
This summary report of the session is our synthesis of the main points and arguments that emerged from the discussions. It does not represent a consensus document, since no effort was made at the Session to arrive at a single consensus view. Rather, we report here on what we heard to be the major themes discussed at the session. Any errors or misrepresentations remain solely our responsibility.
Keywords: biofuels, sustainable development, environmental policy, sustainability
JEL codes: Q01, Q56, Q4
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