The smoke from one Nairobi school’s firewood use was so bad that two cooks quit. A new clean energy source burns cleaner without destroying forests.
Firewood is cutting into Kenya's forests. Entrepreneurs are responding with a new "biomass briquette" industry that turns wastes into fuel.
Demand for biofuels has grown rapidly in the past decade, driving conversion of forests to produce food-based feedstocks. This paper highlights three competing views regarding how substituting biofuels for fossil fuels affects climate emissions, and the role of accounting for indirect land-use change in biofuels policies.
WRI responds to a critique of its working paper, Avoiding Bioenergy Competition for Food Crops and Land. The paper articulates reasons the world should avoid dedicating land to bioenergy production if it is to sustainably feed the global population in 2050.
Biofuels and bioenergy take up finite land resources at the cost of food production and carbon storage and doesn’t guarantee carbon emissions cuts.
What is the role of bioenergy in a sustainable food future? The answer must recognize the intense global competition for land, and that any dedicated use of land for bioenergy inherently comes at the cost of not using that land for food, feed, or sustained carbon storage.
Just a couple weeks ago, Iowa State University (ISU) withdrew from advising the Iowa-based firm AgriSol Energy on its planned land deal in Tanzania. AgriSol Energy is seeking to acquire 320,000 hectares in Rukwa Region for large-scale food and biofuel production. ISU’s role had been to ensure that the for-profit venture be socially responsible and benefit local communities. However, the development of AgriSol’s large-scale farm requires the eviction of 162,000 local farmers – hardly a benefit to the local communities.
With wildfires, floods, tornadoes, and other dramatic weather events making front page news around the world, many people are asking questions about the signs and impacts of a changing climate. Climate Science is the World Resources Institute’s periodic review of the state of play of the science of climate change. With summaries and explanations of recent peer-reviewed research from a host of scientific journals, Climate Science is a window into what scientists are discovering about how climate change affects the living things and complex systems of our planet.
The question of whether there is any value to the temporary storage of carbon is fundamental to climate policy design across a number of arenas, including physical carbon discounting in greenhouse gas accounting, the relative value of temporary carbon offsets, and the value of other carbon
Commercial-scale switchgrass production is projected to involve substantial increases in agricultural land acreage, with new acres coming from a combination of conservation reserve program (CRP) acreage, other cropland currently used as pasture, a reduction of winter
As biofuel production ramps up, counting all the associated greenhouse gas impacts is critical to good energy and climate policy.
The quantification of the carbon dioxide emissions impact associated with land-use change for biofuels production is complicated by the fact that the carbon costs from land-use change and the avoided emissions from substituting
Prompted by volatility in oil markets, growing concerns about global warming, and an interest in supporting farms and rural communities through stronger agricultural markets, several groups in the United States have turned their attention to the
Crop residues like wheat straw and corn stover---i.e. stalks and leaves---have been proposed as a sustainable feedstock for a “next-generation” cellulosic ethanol industry in the United States. However, use of agricultural residues should not be considered to have low environmental
As biofuels become a larger part of the social, economic, and environmental strategies of countries around the world, standards and regulations are needed to ensure that biofuels do in fact reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and promote sustainable development.
In this fifth in a series of annual briefings, WRI President Jonathan Lash briefed journalists on seven key environmental issues to watch in 2007:
Trends to Watch is WRI's annual forecast of emerging issues that will have major impacts on environmental coverage in 2008. On climate change: what will happen between COP-13 in Bali, and COP-14 in Poznan? What role will China play? Will we see new legislation and regulations from Congress or the EPA? Where will biofuels and technology go? Where will the water come from? WRI President Jonathan Lash makes his predictions at the National Press Club.
Biofuels are being heralded as an alternative to oil that can be grown by farmers across the globe, addressing many of the economic, security, and environmental concerns associated with oil dependence.
Extensive agricultural subsurface "tile" drainage in the Midwestern U.S. has important implications for nutrient pollution in surface water, notably the seasonal hypoxic "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico.