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Global Land Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Impacts of U.S. Maize Ethanol: The Role of Market-Mediated Responses

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Listed:
  • Hertel, Thomas
  • Golub, Alla
  • Jones, Andrew
  • O'Hare, Michael
  • Plevin, Richard
  • Kammen, Daniel

Abstract

With the recent adoption by the California Air Resources Board of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard, and USEPA’s Energy Independence and Security Act, greenhouse gas releases from indirect land use change triggered by crop-based biofuels have taken center stage in the debate over the role of biofuels in climate policy and energy security. This paper presents an analysis of these releases for US maize ethanol. Our analysis highlights the key role of market-mediated responses to biofuels mandates. Factoring these into our analysis reduces cropland conversion by 72%. As a consequence the associated GHG release estimated in our framework is just 800 g CO2 MJ -1y (27 g MJ-1 for 30 years of ethanol production). This figure is a quarter of the one previously published value. However, it is still large enough to eliminate the global warming mitigation benefits of most corn ethanol.

Suggested Citation

  • Hertel, Thomas & Golub, Alla & Jones, Andrew & O'Hare, Michael & Plevin, Richard & Kammen, Daniel, 2009. "Global Land Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Impacts of U.S. Maize Ethanol: The Role of Market-Mediated Responses," GTAP Working Papers 3160, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
  • Handle: RePEc:gta:workpp:3160
    Note: GTAP Working Paper No. 55
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    File URL: https://www.gtap.agecon.purdue.edu/resources/res_display.asp?RecordID=3160
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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. Hertel, Thomas, 2013. "Global Applied General Equilibrium Analysis Using the Global Trade Analysis Project Framework," Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, Elsevier.
    3. repec:spr:climat:v:144:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10584-017-2034-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Favero, Alice & Mendelsohn, Robert & Sohngen, Brent, 2016. "Carbon Storage and Bioenergy: Using Forests for Climate Mitigation," MITP: Mitigation, Innovation,and Transformation Pathways 232215, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    5. Felix Creutzig & Christoph von Stechow & David Klein & Carol Hunsberger & Nico Bauer & Alexander Popp & Ottmar Edenhofer, 2012. "Can Bioenergy Assessments Deliver?," Economics of Energy & Environmental Policy, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2).
    6. Creutzig, Felix & McGlynn, Emily & Minx, Jan & Edenhofer, Ottmar, 2011. "Climate policies for road transport revisited (I): Evaluation of the current framework," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 2396-2406, May.
    7. Bruce A. Babcock & Zabid Iqbal, 2014. "Using Recent Land Use Changes to Validate Land Use Change Models," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 14-sr109, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
    8. Rajagopal, D. & Hochman, G. & Zilberman, D., 2011. "Indirect fuel use change (IFUC) and the lifecycle environmental impact of biofuel policies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 228-233, January.
    9. Sexton, Steven & Eyer, Jonathan, 2016. "Leveling the playing field of transportation fuels: Accounting for indirect emissions of natural gas," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 21-31.
    10. Fischer, Justina A.V., 2012. "The choice of domestic policies in a globalized economy: Extended Version," MPRA Paper 37816, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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