Workshop on the Future Implications of a Global Biofuels Market for Economic Development, Environment and Trade

9 May 2007


Henry Lee, Jassim M. Jaidah Director of the Environment and Natural Resources Program
Robert Lawrence, Albert L. Williams Professor of International Trade and Investment
William Clark, Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy and Human Development

Workshop report:

Lee, Henry, William Clark, Robert Lawrence, and Gloria Visconti. 2007. Implications of a Future Global Biofuels Market for Economic Development and International Trade. Report of a workshop held at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 9 May 2007.

The goals of the workshop are to: 1) identify the key issues emerging in the field of biofuels policy, trade, and sustainable development that should be the focus of future research; and 2) inform ongoing discussions at the G8 Summit and the World Trade Organization. Experts from academia, government and the private sector will be involved in an open discussion on the economic and trade aspects of biofuels as a global energy commodity. Questions to be addressed will include:

  • What is the economic impact of biofuels development at the international and domestic levels, particularly for developing countries? What are the infrastructure needs?
  • What are the implications of an increase in biofuels trade at the global level? What are future scenarios in the international trade of biofuels and possible changes both in the WTO context and in the bilateral countries arrangement? What role are biofuels playing in the geopolitical arena?
  • What's to be done to ensure a sustainable production of biofuels, both in terms of environmental externalities and competition with growing food?
  • Which are the key questions policy makers have to address in the short to medium term and how should scientific-based advice be provided?

Contact Info

Henry Lee, Jassim M. Jaidah Director of the Environment and Natural Resources Program,

Gloria Visconti, Research Fellow, Sustainability Science Program,


Jo-Ann Mahoney, Events and Publications Coordinator, Environment and Natural Resources Program,, Tel: (617) 495-1390


Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University


Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea
Sustainability Science Program, Center for International Development, Harvard University
Environment and Natural Resources Program, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University