The sustainability of forestry biomass supply for EU bioenergy: A post-normal approach to environmental risk and uncertainty

TitleThe sustainability of forestry biomass supply for EU bioenergy: A post-normal approach to environmental risk and uncertainty
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsUpham, P, Riesch, H, Tomei, J, Thornley, P
JournalEnvironmental Science and Policy
Volume14
Issue5
Start Page510
Pagination510-518
ISBN Number14629011
Keywordsbioenergy, biofuel, Post-Normal Science, Risk perception, sustainability
Abstract

Most bioenergy supply scenarios suggest that a substantial fraction of future European energy supply could be biomass-based. Yet stakeholder opinion on the risks posed by a high level of bioenergy supply varies and the related science base is relatively undeveloped. Thinking on post-normal science advocates that issues with contested sustainability and risk implications are best resolved or negotiated via inclusive stakeholder fora, in which a variety of values and ways of thinking are respected. As the potential impacts of a large scale supply of forestry biomass for bioenergy have generally received less attention than the potential impacts of first generation biofuels, we use woody biomass risks to illustrate a novel risk perception typology that is consistent with thinking on post normal science. The typology is intended to both strengthen the case for inclusive decision-making in general and to clarify the nature of the risks posed by global solid biomass supply for European bioenergy. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.