Monday, November 8, 2010

Institute for European Environmental Policy report on ILUC

"The Indirect Land Use Change Impact of Biofuels – IEEP Launches Analysis of EU Nations Projected Use of Biofuels and their Consequences"

Added: Nov 8, 2010

A new IEEP report analyses the indirect land use change (ILUC) impact of the substantial additional biofuel usage that will be generated up to 2020 by the targets under the EU renewable energy Directive. Plans from national governments setting out how they will reach these targets, which are only now becoming available, confirm that conventional biofuels will be the primary technology used in delivery. IEEP's report examines the likely impact of these biofuels in terms of physical change in land usage patterns and consequent greenhouse gas emissions.

The report (prepared for ActionAid, BirdLife International, ClientEarth, European Environmental Bureau, FERN, Friends of the Earth Europe, Greenpeace, Transport & Environment and Wetlands International) is the first to combine emerging national data for additional biofuel usage with modelling data to allow the estimation of ILUC based on solid estimates of the delivery of the renewable energy Directive's targets.

Under the renewable energy Directive all EU countries are required to derive 10% of their transport fuels from renewable sources by 2020. If used to meet this target biofuels are required to deliver some limited greenhouse gas reductions compared to fossil fuels and can not directly be grown on particular sensitive land types. However, this only takes into account the direct consequences associated with their production, from crop to final fuel. There are additional consequences of biofuel production such as ILUC, whereby crops displaced by biofuel feedstocks are cultivated elsewhere causing new land to be brought into arable production. This report is a first attempt to quantify these broader ILUC impacts and the consequent policy implications.

IEEP press release at

"between 4.1 and 6.9 million hectares of additional land will need to be cropped due to the increasing conventional biofuel demand, set out in national plans. This is equivalent to an area of somewhere between the size of Belgium and the Republic of Ireland. The report estimates that this would lead to additional annual emissions of between 27 and 56 million tonnes of carbon dioxide between 2011 and 2020, associated with land conversion[6]. This would be equivalent to having 12 to 26 million additional cars on Europe's roads in 2020."

Full report at

Also covered here on EUObserver


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Biofuels are a wide range of fuels which are in some way derived from biomass.

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