The renewable energy goal is a headline target of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. In order to ensure GHG emissions savings, prevent biodiversity loss and avoid other negative impacts on the environment, sustainability criteria guiding biofuel production have been included in the Renewable Energy Directive.
Respecting the European policy for Biofuels & Climate Change, CONSENSUS project will seek to address the problem of indirect land use change through the impact maximisation of the European policy implementation. A multi-criterion decision-making perspective will be fostered through a platform that will incorporate all the relevant driving objectives that form the context to which the policy is applied, including the social/public aspects. In particular, CONSENSUS project considers this problem as a roadmapping task, which receives as input a set of potential initiatives/policies, as are described below.
CONSENSUS project will identify the conflicting objectives, quantify them and feed them to an analytical model so as to better comprehend the tradeoffs. For this purpose, the criteria (environmental: greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity loss; economic: farmers income, and social: food and energy security) will be reviewed for completeness with the end-users. The social impacts of biofuel production in developing countries will also be taken into account as well, in order to consider the impact of EU biofuels policy for local communities in terms of food security, access to land and water.
Finally, the CONSENSUS platform plans to use social analytics, to obtain an optimal roadmap that satisfies all the posed constraints, and adheres to the preferences of the EU (official policy-makers and/or the general public) in terms of the underlying conflicts between the objectives.