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Promoting an Open and Equitable Global Food System

IPCPublications

An Examination of Social Standards in Biofuels Sustainability Criteria

December 2008

Read "An Examination of Social Standards in Biofuels Sustainability Criteria " [PDF]

The question of linking social standards to trade continues to be a very controversial one.  Biofuels — in particular questions about their environmental sustainability and their impact on food security — have also become controversial.  This analysis of Social Standards in Biofuels Sustainability Criteria serves as a companion piece to the seminal IPC/REIL 2006 Discussion Paper “WTO Disciplines and Biofuels: Opportunities and Constraints in the Creation of a Global Marketplace.” Neither publication seeks to provide definitive answers as to what types of measures are or are not WTO compliant; indeed such answers can only come through agreement among WTO members or through WTO jurisprudence. Rather, this paper serves to zero in on the most relevant WTO provisions and on the considerable legal uncertainty, which exists not only for social standards, but indeed for other types of “non-trade related concerns.”

Read the Executive Summary based on this longer Discussion Paper.

View the Press Release


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