Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Albert L. Williams Professor of International Trade and Investment
Environment and Natural Resources
By Robert Lawrence, Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
This paper argues that the growing list of concerns about the impact of biofuel targets and mandates are the predictable result of a failure to follow the basic principles of good policy-making. Good policy-making requires developing a policy goal or target (i.e., reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing oil consumption, or increasing rural economic development) and designing an instrument to efficiently meet that particular goal. The more precise the goal, the better. In addition, for each target, there should be at least one policy instrument. You cannot meet two goals with only one instrument. This paper argues that the current U.S. biofuels mandates do not represent the most efficient or precise instrument to meet any of the policy's stated goals.
June 5, 2007
By Henry Lee, Director, Environment and Natural Resources Program, William Clark, Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy, and Human Development; Co-director, Sustainability Science Program; Faculty Chair, ENRP, Robert Lawrence, Member of the Board, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Gloria Visconti
Summary report from a joint ENRP/Sustainablity Science Program workshop convening experts from academia, international institutions, government, and the private sector to explore possible implications of emerging global biofuels markets for economic development and international trade.