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.
► 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
- Fundamental challenges of iLUC accounting
- The problem of causality
- The problem of measuring
- The problem of remote attribution
- The problem of governance
- Impact-related approach
- Additional LUC sustainability requirements
- Universal LUC requirements
- International agreements