Ethanol and the Environment: The political economy of the cost-benefit analysis Luiz Niemeyer

This article will evaluate the impact of ethanol production in Brazil on the environment. Ethanol production in Brazil (under the Proalcool programme) can be used as an example of conventional cost-benefit (CB) analysis that disregarded important considerations related to the environment. Furthermore, despite the recent modifications made in the CB analysis, it still cannot adequately evaluate the environmental impact of ethanol production. Impact on water, air and food production was and will continue to be unaccounted for. The conclusion is that if major environmental aspects were taken into consideration, it would cast a doubt on the social viability of ethanol as a substitute for gasoline in Brazil.

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