Sustainability criteria in the RED: the EU policy toward agrofuels and its impacts on human rights

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Napolitano, Federica
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This paper is aimed at evaluating the accountability of the European Union policy on agrofuels from a human rights perspective. The analysis is focused on the sustainability criteria established by the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) of 23 April 2009. These criteria establish standards for the production and use of agrofuels in order to avoid environmental and social damages that agrofuels have caused so far. Nevertheless this paper gives evidences that these criteria are not adequate to address the real impacts that agrofuels have on human rights at the local and global level. The right to food, the right to water, labour rights, and the rights of indigenous peoples are particularly affected. The inadequacy of the sustainability criteria is not consistent with international human rights law and with the obligations which bound EU and its Member States. Given, on one side, the influence that the EU demand for agrofuels has at the global level and, on the other, the very limited standards established in the RED, the EU is accomplice of grave human rights violations. The RED should be urgently amended; for this reason, this paper also proposes alternative criteria to guarantee a more accountable framework as to agrofuels.
Second semester University: University of Seville
renewable energy sources, European Union countries, sustainable development, European Union