Title: Framing land use changes in the expansion of Brazilian ethanol production

Authors: Ester Galli

Addresses: Department of Industrial Ecology, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Teknikringen 34, Stockholm 114 28, Sweden

Abstract: Internationally land use change for the expansion of ethanol production in Brazil has been associated with deforestation and CO2 emissions. This association has been denied by important Brazilian actors. To clarify the diverging opinions, a study was made of the expansion of sugarcane plantations. Frame analysis was the tool selected. The conflicting frames identified were named 'ethanol as destructive for nature' and 'ethanol as green fuel'. The analysis suggested that the frames are mostly economically orientated, environmental orientation being secondary and that a reframing process is underway. International actors started to recognise the peculiarities of land use in Brazil. Brazilian actors started to understand that acceptance of Brazilian ethanol on the international market depends not only on price and energy balance competitiveness, but also on product traceability and certification. However, a serious environmental threat remains to the Cerrado biome. This is a challenge that Brazilians actors will have to tackle to ensure the sustainability of ethanol production.

Keywords: Amazonia; Brazil; Cerrado; carbon dioxide; CO2; carbon emissions; deforestation; ethanol; forests; land use change; sugarcane plantations; sustainable energy; frame analysis; conflicting frames; nature; green fuel; environmental orientation; economic orientation; reframing processes; international markets; prices; energy balances; competitiveness; product traceability; product certification; environmental threats; biomes; sustainable society; sustainable development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSOC.2013.052915

International Journal of Sustainable Society, 2013 Vol.5 No.2, pp.178 - 194

Available online: 31 Mar 2013 *

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