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Water-energy- food nexus of biofuels - analyzing policy impacts

Grant number: 19/24479-0
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Post-doctor
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2020
Effective date (End): September 30, 2020
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal Investigator:Leandro Luiz Giatti
Grantee:Lira Luz Benites Lazaro
Supervisor abroad: Simone Abram
Home Institution: Faculdade de Saúde Pública (FSP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : Durham University (DU), England  
Associated to the scholarship:17/17796-3 - Conflicts and power relations: the water-energy-food nexus in the production of ethanol in the State of São Paulo, BP.PD


Biofuels production presents several challenges within the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) nexus at the local and global scales. The worldwide interest towards energy transitions to renewable sources, and global energy prices can lead to an increasing demand for bioenergy crops, thereby intensifying the competition for arable land and water with food crops. There may be potential net welfare benefits from biofuels development to a national economy, with positive impacts including poverty reduction, higher agricultural household incomes, and lower greenhouse gas emissions. However, for sustainable resource use, biofuel production and expansion should be considered in a wider governance structure based on WEF nexus dynamics. This structure presents opportunities for new thinking and approaches on the sustainability of social-ecological systems. The period of research internship abroad will be important to enrich the theoretical and methodological basis of my ongoing postdoctoral research entitled "Conflicts and power relations: the water-energy-food nexus in the sugarcane ethanol production in the state of São Paulo". This proposal primarily focuses on energy policy analysis and governance structure assessments, analysis of government incentives, and programs for greenhouse gas emission reductions based on biofuels, and the role of biofuels in the low carbon energy transitions.