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Does the expansion of biofuels encroach on the forest?

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Listed:
  • Derya KELES

    ()

  • Johanna CHOUMERT

    () (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International(CERDI))

  • Pascale COMBES MOTEL

    () (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International(CERDI))

  • Eric Nazindigouba KERE

    ()

Abstract

In this article, we explore the role of biofuel production on deforestation in developing and emerging countries. Since the 2000s biofuel production has been rapidly developing to address issues of economic development, energy poverty and reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, the sustainability of biofuels is being challenged in recent research, particularly at the environmental level, due to their impact on deforestation and the GHG emissions they can generate as a result of land use changes. In order to isolate the impact of bioethanol and biodiesel production among classic determinants of deforestation, we use a fixed effects panel model on biofuel production in 112 developing and emerging countries between 2001 and 2012. We find a positive relationship between bioethanol production and deforestation in these countries, among which we highlight the specificity of Upper-Middle-Income Countries (UMICs). An acceleration of incentives for the production of biofuels, linked to a desire to strengthen energy security from 2006 onwards, enables us to highlight higher marginal impacts for the production of bioethanol in the case of developing countries and UMICs. However, these results are not significant before 2006 for developing countries, and biodiesel production appears to have an impact on deforestation before 2006 on both subsamples. These last two results seem surprising and could be related to the role of biofuel production technologies and the crop yields used in their production.

Suggested Citation

  • Derya KELES & Johanna CHOUMERT & Pascale COMBES MOTEL & Eric Nazindigouba KERE, 2017. "Does the expansion of biofuels encroach on the forest?," Working Papers 201719, CERDI.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdi:wpaper:1894
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andrade de Sá, Saraly & Palmer, Charles & di Falco, Salvatore, 2013. "Dynamics of indirect land-use change: Empirical evidence from Brazil," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 377-393.
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    8. Leblois, Antoine & Damette, Olivier & Wolfersberger, Julien, 2017. "What has Driven Deforestation in Developing Countries Since the 2000s? Evidence from New Remote-Sensing Data," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 82-102.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Biofuel production; Land use change; Forest cover loss; Panel data.;

    JEL classification:

    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation
    • Q23 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Forestry
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services

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