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Biodiesel vs. ethanol, UE vs. US biofuels: So different in terms of LUC impact?


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  • Agneta Forslund
  • Alexandre Gohin
  • Chantal Le Mouël
  • Fabrice Levert
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    Available estimates of biofuel-induced land use change (LUC) and corresponding greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions vary on a wide range while estimations obtained from each model are highly sensitive to certain assumptions and key parameter values. Available studies often suggest that biodiesel and ethanol and/or EU and US biofuels would lead to different LUC and GHG emissions but they don’t agree on the type and/or the origin of the biofuel which would induce the least LUC and GHG emissions. In this paper we investigate the reasons behind this feature. We show that the Armington modeling of trade flows, which is currently used in models, contributes to this pattern. Using both observed data and the partial equilibrium model MATSIM-LUCA, we show that LUC stemming from the development of biofuels is highly dependent on assumptions made on trade: the Integrated World Market (IWM) approach, which relies on the homogenous product assumption, tends to erase differences in estimates of induced LUC from biodiesel and ethanol and from EU and US biofuels as compared to the Armington approach, that postulates that product are differentiated according to their origin and thus less substitutable.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by INRA UMR SMART in its series Working Papers SMART - LERECO with number 14-04.

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    Length: 21 pages
    Date of creation: 2014
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:rae:wpaper:201404

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    Keywords: biofuel; LUC; model; Armington;

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    1. Nelson B. Villoria & Thomas W. Hertel, 2011. "Geography Matters: International Trade Patterns and the Indirect Land Use Effects of Biofuels," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(4), pages 919-935.
    2. Jerome Dumortier & Dermot J. Hayes & Miguel Carriquiry & Fengxia Dong & Xiaodong Du & Amani Elobeid & Jacinto F. Fabiosa & Simla Tokgoz, 2009. "Sensitivity of Carbon Emission Estimates from Indirect Land-Use Change," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 09-wp493, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
    3. Alexandre Gohin & Herve Guyomard & Chantal Le Mou�l, 2006. "Tariff protection elimination and Common Agricultural Policy reform: implications of changes in methods of import demand modelling," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(13), pages 1527-1539.
    4. Searchinger, Timothy & Heimlich, Ralph & Houghton, R. A. & Dong, Fengxia & Elobeid, Amani & Fabiosa, Jacinto F. & Tokgoz, Simla & Hayes, Dermot J. & Yu, Hun-Hsiang, 2008. "Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions from Land-Use Change," Staff General Research Papers 12881, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    5. Reimer, Jeffrey J. & Zheng, Xiaojuan & Gehlhar, Mark J., 2012. "Export Demand Elasticity Estimation for Major U.S. Crops," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 44(04), November.
    6. Alla A. Golub & Thomas W. Hertel, 2012. "Modeling Land-Use Change Impacts Of Biofuels In The Gtap-Bio Framework," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 3(03), pages 1250015-1-1.
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