The environmental issue has been mainly subsumed within the paradigm of climate change. Sustainable development agendas are massively investing in initiatives to combat or reduce its impact: they work as pivots around which to build environmental and development policies. Initiatives on climate change reflect a wide range of epistemological approaches incorporating radical and reformist ideas of sustainability: in particular, the multi-scale method involves community-based activities, oriented towards a strong idea of sustainability and massive interventions at global level, with an emerging preference for market-oriented policies and technocratic solutions. However, neoliberal ways to deal with the environmental issue represent the dominant frame for the inclusion of climate change in global policies for sustainable development. A mix of a weak idea of ecological modernization and market environmentalism represents the legitimizing discourse of these global approaches. While attempting to achieve global sustainability, climate agendas clash with the construction of local sustainable systems. This is the case of policies supporting biofuels, which have been framed by many as neo-mercantilist practices proceeding alongside emergent globalizing recombinant corporate/state arrangements. A new global ecology [Sachs 1993] is developing, “whereby planetary resources are to be managed through the application of the market paradigm to the environment” [McMichael 2010, 578] and a corporate management of energy resources is favoured: biofuels are commodified into global industrial goods at the expense of encouraging local biofuel development for local sustainable systems. The controversy over the sustainability of biofuels starts from their global commodification and develops by interweaving the need to simplify the management of natural systems with the further complexity added by the side-effects of neoliberal policies [Carrosio 2011]. In the literature, this complexity is framed as a constitutive practice of neoliberal governmentality [Heynen et al. 2007], which operates through disorder [Pellizzoni 2011] and by maintaining a state of exception [Agamben 2005]. This essay argues that the relocation of biofuels is a possible answer to the controversy because it enables the better management of side-effects and produces a local order that extends beyond a permanent state of exception. This could be possible only by adopting a bounded idea of sustainability which takes the autonomy of local systems into account.

Beyond the Sustainability of Exception: Setting Bounds on Biofuels

CARROSIO, GIOVANNI
2012-01-01

Abstract

The environmental issue has been mainly subsumed within the paradigm of climate change. Sustainable development agendas are massively investing in initiatives to combat or reduce its impact: they work as pivots around which to build environmental and development policies. Initiatives on climate change reflect a wide range of epistemological approaches incorporating radical and reformist ideas of sustainability: in particular, the multi-scale method involves community-based activities, oriented towards a strong idea of sustainability and massive interventions at global level, with an emerging preference for market-oriented policies and technocratic solutions. However, neoliberal ways to deal with the environmental issue represent the dominant frame for the inclusion of climate change in global policies for sustainable development. A mix of a weak idea of ecological modernization and market environmentalism represents the legitimizing discourse of these global approaches. While attempting to achieve global sustainability, climate agendas clash with the construction of local sustainable systems. This is the case of policies supporting biofuels, which have been framed by many as neo-mercantilist practices proceeding alongside emergent globalizing recombinant corporate/state arrangements. A new global ecology [Sachs 1993] is developing, “whereby planetary resources are to be managed through the application of the market paradigm to the environment” [McMichael 2010, 578] and a corporate management of energy resources is favoured: biofuels are commodified into global industrial goods at the expense of encouraging local biofuel development for local sustainable systems. The controversy over the sustainability of biofuels starts from their global commodification and develops by interweaving the need to simplify the management of natural systems with the further complexity added by the side-effects of neoliberal policies [Carrosio 2011]. In the literature, this complexity is framed as a constitutive practice of neoliberal governmentality [Heynen et al. 2007], which operates through disorder [Pellizzoni 2011] and by maintaining a state of exception [Agamben 2005]. This essay argues that the relocation of biofuels is a possible answer to the controversy because it enables the better management of side-effects and produces a local order that extends beyond a permanent state of exception. This could be possible only by adopting a bounded idea of sustainability which takes the autonomy of local systems into account.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/2666525
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