Governments around the world are betting heavily on biofuels as one part of a solution to a wide range of public policy challenges, from environmental sustainability in the face of climate change, to energy security given rising geopolitical instability, to economic growth especially in rural regions and developing countries. Policy interventions typically take the form of legal and regulatory measures, for example, to drive demand for renewable fuels through mandates, or to subsidize costs through financial and other supports for production and processing of feedstock and output fuels. Such complex legal/regulatory mechanisms combine to create a multi-level or network system of governance. This article analyzes the implications of this complex framework for the production and international trading of biofuels.


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