Leal Filho, W. (2011), "Editorial", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 12 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijshe.2011.24912caa.001
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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Volume 12, Issue 3
Welcome to another issue of International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education. We are pleased to be able to present our readers with a truly international set of papers on matters related to sustainable development in higher education. Here, readers will be able to find papers dealing with matters as varied as curriculum greening and campus development, also reporting on the results of recent research.
On this Editorial, I would like to comment on a study produced by the UK-based International Institute for Environment and Development, which undertook an analysis on the use of biomass energy (http://pubs.iied.org/pdfs/13556IIED.pdf). According to the study, biomass energy currently makes up 10 per cent of the world’s primary energy supply mix, but the International Energy Agency predicts this will rise to 30 per cent by 2050. Since non-OECD countries are disproportionately dependent on biomass energy (meeting 26 per cent of their energy needs), this report suggests they could capitalise on this trend; by acting now to legalise sustainable biomass value chains, such countries could create a platform for more advanced biomass energy options in the future.
When managed sustainably, biomass has significant advantages over other forms of energy in non-OECD countries, including local accessibility and energy security, low carbon emissions over long time-frames and the flexibility to be converted into heat, electricity, liquid or gas at a range of commercial scales. Per unit of energy, biomass production is also more labour intensive than other energy sources and may also hold the potential to boost rural employment and reduce poverty. The report, which aims to inform forest and energy decision makers in non-OECD countries of key issues surrounding the biomass energy boom, is also useful to all of us working with sustainability the higher education section. This is also because one can teach and learn about the advantages and challenges of biomass, how it compares with renewable alternatives, and how to develop policy frameworks that optimise its impact on poverty reduction, climate change mitigation and the preservation of ecosystem services. In summary, a very rich and diverse topic, for both teaching and research purposes!
Enjoy your reading!
Walter Leal Filho