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Additional CO2 emissions from land use change — Forest conservation as a precondition for sustainable production of second generation bioenergy

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Author Info

  • Popp, Alexander
  • Krause, Michael
  • Dietrich, Jan Philipp
  • Lotze-Campen, Hermann
  • Leimbach, Marian
  • Beringer, Tim
  • Bauer, Nico
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    Abstract

    In the past, deforestation, mainly driven by the conversion of natural forests to agricultural land, contributed up to one-fifth of global human induced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Substitution of bioenergy for fossil energy is an intensely discussed option for mitigating CO2 emissions. This paper, by applying a global land-use model and a global energy–economy–climate model, explores how demand for cellulosic bioenergy crops will add an additional pressure on the land system in the future. In accordance with other studies, we find that CO2 emissions from land use change due to energy crop production will be an important factor in the GHG balance of bioenergy if natural forests will not be protected. But restricting land availability for biomass plantations by conserving natural forests requires additional efforts in the agricultural sector: First, our simulation results indicate that significant additional crop yield increases will be needed due to the combination of forest conservation and the cultivation of dedicated bioenergy crops. Secondly, our simulation results show that forest conservation in combination with increasing demand for dedicated bioenergy crops will lead to higher agricultural production costs of approximately 20%.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 74 (2012)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 64-70

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:74:y:2012:i:c:p:64-70

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

    Related research

    Keywords: Bioenergy; Land use change; Deforestation; Yield increases; Costs of agricultural production; Indirect land use change emissions (iLUC);

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    Cited by:
    1. Alexander Popp & Steven Rose & Katherine Calvin & Detlef Vuuren & Jan Dietrich & Marshall Wise & Elke Stehfest & Florian Humpenöder & Page Kyle & Jasper Vliet & Nico Bauer & Hermann Lotze-Campen & Da, 2014. "Land-use transition for bioenergy and climate stabilization: model comparison of drivers, impacts and interactions with other land use based mitigation options," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 123(3), pages 495-509, April.
    2. Katherine Calvin & Marshall Wise & Page Kyle & Pralit Patel & Leon Clarke & Jae Edmonds, 2014. "Trade-offs of different land and bioenergy policies on the path to achieving climate targets," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 123(3), pages 691-704, April.

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