The IAPS International Association for People-Environment Studies held its Sustainability Network International Symposium on “Sustainability in the Post-Covid era: Challenges and Opportunities in the face of Climate Change and the Energy Transition” at A Coruña (Spain), on September 29th – October 1st, 2021.

The Convenors were Prof. Ricardo García-Mira (People Environment Research Group, University of A Coruña, Spain) and Prof. Petra Schweizer-Ries (Bochum University of Applied Sciences, Germany). Prof. Marino Bonaiuto has been invited to deliver one of the four keynote speeches, which was made on September the 30th, 2021, with the title “Barriers and facilitators for sustainable technology acceptance among stakeholders: the biofuel case from the EC H2020 ABC-Salt project”; which can be viewed from 02:23:28 – 03:36:15.

This has been the opportunity to deliver for the first time a full presentation of Task 2.5 3-study results about biofuels socio-economic and environmental assessment. The presentation started with a brief presentation of the project and the role of CIRPA’s social science approach within it, and then offered an overview of the three studies.

The first study showed a new procedure proposed in order to map biofuels’ stakeholders on the basis of a quantitative approach which measures both the stakeholders’ degree of interest in the ABC-Salt project topics, and their degree of influence within the EU biofuels stakeholders’ network (on the basis of Ludovico, Dessi, Bonaiuto, 2020). Starting from the stakeholders mapped with this first study in each of the eight countries involved in the project, the second study featured results achieved with a qualitative procedure by means of an interview carried out on 32 persons out of the previously mapped EU biofuels stakeholders, in order to list all the factors favouring and inhibiting the EU stakeholders’ biofuels acceptance (i.e., biofuels acceptance’s facilitators and barriers). They encompass features of the sustainable technology to be accepted; its context of acceptance (pertaining economic and market features, as well as political and administrative ones); or the accepting person’s social-psychological features. These results are the focus of a contribution submitted and presently under its second revision by an international journal: A summary is given in this Newsletter (see the next news). Finally, the last part of the keynote presentation focused on some preliminary results from the third study’s quantitative approach: this started with a description of how a questionnaire has been built integrating the second study’s results with existing similar tools from the literature and relevant theoretical models (such as SETA, the Sustainable Energy Technology Acceptance model); and then, it presented how the questionnaire has been administered, to a general public eight countries sample (N > 800), and statistically analysed. First results list the quantitative indicators derived to measure a wide range of the main predicting variables, covering both perceived features of the technology to be accepted (i.e, biofuels), perceived features of the context of acceptance (economics and politics), and social-psychological features of the accepting person; as well as the main outcome criteria (positive attitudes, support and use intentions, willingness to pay). Moreover, Structural Equation Model (SEM) analyses allow a first test of a general model showing which are the best perceived technological features, the best perceived economic and market features or perceived political and administrative features of the acceptance framework, and the best social-psychological features of the accepting persons, in terms of leverages for maximising biofuels’ acceptance and adoption. The next steps entail a second study with a smaller selected sample of expert stakeholders to be compared to this first general public sample. And finally an integration of all the Task 2.5 results in order to derive general implications for supporting biofuels’ acceptability within the EU scenario.