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As these objectives call for different approaches and choices from a public decision-maker’s perspective, trade-offs have to be made in order to meet national objectives (SEE BOX 1 and BOX 2).

External drivers are principally the result of other countries’ objectives translating into international market demand. This includes things such as the creation of policies in importing countries that have standards for imports in respect to climate mitigation strategies and diversifica-tion in energy supply. Potential feedstock or bioenergy producer countries may not be able to control these drivers directly, and may be faced with decisions dealing with investment proposals made by domestic or foreign investors linked into the international market. National and local authorities should consider whether or not these investment proposals are consistent with the country’s

national objectives, considering also that alternative uses of land may be more coherent with the strategic goals for the development of the specific area.

Policy and Institutional Context

This analysis of drivers should be followed by an analysis of what policies and what policy gaps exist that are of relevance to bioenergy development. This assessment will help ensure coherence of policies and prevent unintended consequences. Policies to be looked at include energy policy, agricultural policy, industrial and rural development policy, and trade policy. An assessment needs to consider relevant constraints and contexts such as as water and land rights as well as existing planning and regulatory processes.

Box 1: Illustrating the need for trade-offs to meet policy objectives

Meeting all policy objectives equally may not be possible, and trade-offs are often necessary, as illustrated by the following examples:

A policy objective of maximizing revenues from export of bioenergy may call for increased bioenergy production based on investments in large-scale plantations and processing plants. But this might be in direct opposition to a policy of meeting local energy needs through local bioenergy production and use with implications for productivity.

Competition for land use in case of large and rapid expansion of bioenergy production may lead to negative impacts on climate change if carbon storage areas are used, e.g. forests or wetlands are converted, or if areas of high conservation value, containing biodiversity which is the basis for ecosystem services, are converted, e.g. forests, savannah, etc.

Rapid population growth, changing diets, and expected negative impacts on agriculture of climate change are reducing the carrying capacity of ecological systems in several developing countries. Hence additional pressure on arable land that is needed for food production might have, in the medium and longer term, and without any significant technological advance-ment, a negative consequence on food security.

Trade offs need to be assessed outside and within the boundaries of bioenergy. The result of the assessment and related decision on trade-offs be that bioenergy provide only a small share of the energy mix.

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