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.
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.
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
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:
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.