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  • EU’s biofuel policy: land use impacts

    July 25, 2012
    by Valentina Zammarano

    Biofuel (Copyright by Ecologiae)

    A new report  by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) has been recently released.

    This document examines the EU’s biofuel policy, its implications for international markets, as well as its impacts on direct and indirect land use change, international trade and forest conservation.

    As regards the biofuel impact on climate change, EU strategies are stuck at the moment.

    The report focuses on the potential impacts of imported biofuels from tropical and subtropical regions, where deforestation, poverty alleviation and economic development are of particular concern.

    It analyzes the EU and global biofuel markets and notes that while the expansion in biofuel markets creates economic opportunities for developing countries to export to the EU, it can also results in significant land use change and environmental impacts.

    The document also provides an overview of the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (EU-RED), which includes a mandatory target of 10% renewable energy in the transport sector, and sustainability criteria to which biofuels must adhere that are mainly aimed at addressing land use, biodiversity and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

    The report finds that the cost of meeting the sustainability criteria, which occurs mainly by means of voluntary certification schemes, can be a barrier for importers from less developed countries.

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