Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New paper: The iLUC dilemma: How to deal with indirect land use changes when governing energy crops?



The iLUC dilemma: How to deal with indirect land use changes when governing energy crops?

Erik Gawela, Corresponding Author Contact Information, E-mail The Corresponding Author and Grit Ludwigb, E-mail The Corresponding Author

a Department of Economics, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Permoserstrasse 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany

b Department of Environmental and Planning Law, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Permoserstrasse 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany

Received 10 May 2010; 
revised 1 March 2011; 
accepted 1 March 2011. 
Available online 8 April 2011.

Abstract

Due to land use effects, bioenergy use may cause adverse effects on biodiversity, soil and water and may even fail to guarantee a GHG emissions reduction compared to fossil fuel use. Accounting methodologies and policy instruments were elaborated to prevent these effects, but there is still no sound and consensual methodology to take into account indirect land use change that substantially contributes to GHG emissions as well as a loss of biodiversity. While the iLUC hypothesis, that is the potentiality of adverse effects arising from indirect land use change related to biomass cultivation, is hardly subject to dispute, the quantification of these effects and especially their policy implications are however contentious. Hence, bioenergy policies worldwide face a dilemma: Neglecting iLUC effects that do in fact exist or taking them into account although no sound methodology is available? The article covers the current state of the discussion and also analyses the approaches developed for taking indirect land use change into account. Assessment criteria for coping with the iLUC dilemma are developed and policy recommendations are derived from that.

Highlights

► We analyze the approaches developed for including iLUC into bioenergy governance. ► We derive policy recommendations for bioenergy governance from that. ► Lowering pressure is currently the most practicable, effective and available option. ► The different models can help determine bioenergy targets and quotas.

Keywords: Land use change; Indirect land use change; Bioenergy; Biofuels policy; GHG accounting; Sustainability

Article Outline

Introduction: the iLUC hypothesis and the iLUC dilemma
Fundamental challenges of iLUC accounting
The problem of causality
The problem of measuring
The problem of remote attribution
The problem of governance
Approaches for governing iLUC-related bioenergy: an overview
Impact-related approach
Additional LUC sustainability requirements
Universal LUC requirements
International agreements
Product assignment approach
Model-based accounting
Schematic accounting
Signalling of origin
General governance approach
Lowering pressure
Information to the legislator
Current policy approaches
Assessment criteria for iLUC treatments
Assessment of the methods
Impact-related methods
Universal LUC requirements
International agreements
Product assignment methods
Model-based accounting
Schematic accounting
Signalling of origin
General governance methods
Lowering pressure
Information to the legislator
Discussion
Summary and conclusion
Acknowledgements
References



Corresponding Author Contact InformationCorresponding author. Tel.: +49 341 235 1940; fax: +49 341 235 451940.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VB0-52K1C2F-1&_user=100086&_coverDate=04%2F08%2F2011&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=gateway&_origin=gateway&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_acct=C000007538&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=100086&md5=ddbd5722db8cf15e4783aee475ad7d00&searchtype=a

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

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