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Alternative U.S. biofuel mandates and global GHG emissions: The role of land use change, crop management and yield growth

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  • Mosnier, A.
  • Havlík, P.
  • Valin, H.
  • Baker, J.
  • Murray, B.
  • Feng, S.
  • Obersteiner, M.
  • McCarl, B.A.
  • Rose, S.K.
  • Schneider, U.A.

Abstract

We investigate the impacts of the U.S. renewable fuel standard (RFS2) and several alternative biofuel policy designs on global GHG emissions from land use change and agriculture over the 2010–2030 horizon. Analysis of the scenarios relies on GLOBIOM, a global, multi-sectoral economic model based on a detailed representation of land use. Our results reveal that RFS2 would substantially increase the portion of agricultural land needed for biofuel feedstock production. U.S. exports of most agricultural products would decrease as long as the biofuel target would increase leading to higher land conversion and nitrogen use globally. In fact, higher levels of the mandate mean lower net emissions within the U.S. but when the emissions from the rest of the world are considered, the US biofuel policy results in almost no change on GHG emissions for the RFS2 level and higher global GHG emissions for higher levels of the mandate or higher share of conventional corn-ethanol in the mandate. Finally, we show that if the projected crop productivity would be lower globally, the imbalance between domestic U.S. GHG savings and additional GHG emissions in the rest of the world would increase, thus deteriorating the net global impact of U.S. biofuel policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Mosnier, A. & Havlík, P. & Valin, H. & Baker, J. & Murray, B. & Feng, S. & Obersteiner, M. & McCarl, B.A. & Rose, S.K. & Schneider, U.A., 2013. "Alternative U.S. biofuel mandates and global GHG emissions: The role of land use change, crop management and yield growth," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 602-614.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:57:y:2013:i:c:p:602-614
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.02.035
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Roman Keeney & Thomas W. Hertel, 2009. "The Indirect Land Use Impacts of United States Biofuel Policies: The Importance of Acreage, Yield, and Bilateral Trade Responses," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(4), pages 895-909.
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    Cited by:

    1. Condon, Nicole & Klemick, Heather & Wolverton, Ann, 2015. "Impacts of ethanol policy on corn prices: A review and meta-analysis of recent evidence," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 63-73.
    2. repec:eee:enepol:v:110:y:2017:i:c:p:631-643 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. John C. Beghin & Jean-Christophe Bureau & Alexandre Gohin, 2017. "The Impact of an EU–US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement on Biofuel and Feedstock Markets," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(2), pages 321-344, June.
    4. repec:eee:enepol:v:116:y:2018:i:c:p:290-296 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. John M. DeCicco & Danielle Yuqiao Liu & Joonghyeok Heo & Rashmi Krishnan & Angelika Kurthen & Louise Wang, 2016. "Carbon balance effects of U.S. biofuel production and use," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 138(3), pages 667-680, October.
    6. Khatiwada, Dilip & Venkata, Bharadwaj K. & Silveira, Semida & Johnson, Francis X., 2016. "Energy and GHG balances of ethanol production from cane molasses in Indonesia," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 164(C), pages 756-768.
    7. Plevin, Richard J. & Delucchi, Mark A. & O’Hare, Michael, 2017. "Fuel carbon intensity standards may not mitigate climate change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 93-97.
    8. repec:eee:energy:v:141:y:2017:i:c:p:2045-2053 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Brian C. Murray & Maureen L. Cropper & Francisco C. de la Chesnaye & John M. Reilly, 2014. "How Effective Are US Renewable Energy Subsidies in Cutting Greenhouse Gases?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 569-574, May.
    10. Ko, Chun-Han & Chaiprapat, Sumate & Kim, Lee-Hyung & Hadi, Pejman & Hsu, Shu-Chien & Leu, Shao-Yuan, 2017. "Carbon sequestration potential via energy harvesting from agricultural biomass residues in Mekong River basin, Southeast Asia," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 68(P2), pages 1051-1062.
    11. Larsen, Ashley E. & Hendrickson, Brandon T. & Dedeic, Nicholas & MacDonald, Andrew J., 2015. "Taken as a given: Evaluating the accuracy of remotely sensed crop data in the USA," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 121-125.

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    Keywords

    Biofuels; U.S. renewable fuel standard (RFS2); Land use change;

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