Harmonizing Biodiesel Fuel Standards in East Asia: Current Status, Challenges and Way Forward
This paper discusses the development of and policy towards biodiesel fuel (BDF) in the East Asia Summit (EAS) Region (hereafter East Asia), with a focus on activities related to harmonizing BDF standards. It finds that the EAS countries have actively promoted the development of BDF for a variety of reasons. To minimize problems with engines arising from the use of BDF, most EAS countries have established their national BDF standards. However, these diverse standards cause barriers for BDF trade and act against the regional interest in maximizing benefits from BDF production and utilization. Therefore, the EAS policy makers decided to harmonize BDF standards, and a regional benchmark standard has been published. Through a comparative review of existing national standards against the benchmark, it finds that the harmonization is beneficial economically and environmentally, and is technically feasible but practically stalled due to the lack of political determination. Therefore, among a few policy implications, the key message to deliver is a call for political determination to implement the harmonization in the EAS region. Since harmonization of BDF standards has been tried in other regions, the findings of this paper may supplement the literature, enhance understanding of the EAS case, and provide lessons and implications that may be helpful in advancing similar harmonization elsewhere.