Essays on the Bioeconomy

This dissertation covers three research papers on the resource use and the sustainability of the bioeconomy and specific bioeconomy conscepts. The first paper is build on a narrative literature review of studies that have examined effects of potential bioeconomy activities on factors that are captured within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This paper identifies trade-offs between the two political concepts of bioeconomy and SDGs, and reveals which aspects of sustainability are addressed and neglected by policy makers formulating bioeconomy concepts. The second paper quantifies the effects of an EU bioeconomy policy on global energy and agricultural markets, as well as on land use. In this paper, we analyze the implications of the EU biofuel policy stated in the latest renewable energy directive (RED II) using a global computable general equilibrium (CGE) Model. A crucial aspect of this paper is the evaluation of the palm oil biodiesel phase-out, conditioned by the regulations within the RED II. It is shown how the substitution and feedback effects of global agricultural markets undermine a policy meant to protect tropical ecosystems, and acts as a technical barrier to trade (TBT) potentially discriminating certain regions. The third paper is on the first study that explicitly focuses on aquaculture production in a CGE model.In this study feedback effects of substituting fishmeal and plant-based feed in aquaculture production and their implications on agricultural markets under various scenario assumptions are analyzed. The results show direct effects of aquaculture production and limited fishmeal supply on agricultural production, land use, and food prices. In addition, expanding aquaculture production increases prices for capture fish via fishmeal demand, and rebuilding sustainable fish stocks to achieve SDG 14 has significant adverse effects on welfare and food prices in marine fish dependent regions in the southern hemisphere.


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