Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 1–19

Biofuels and Climate Change Mitigation: A CGE Analysis Incorporating Land-Use Change

Authors

    • Environment and Energy UnitDevelopment Research Group, The World Bank
  • Simon Mevel
    • Economic Affairs Officer, Trade and International Negotiations Section, Regional Integration, Infrastructure & Trade DivisionUnited Nations Economic Commission for Africa
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10640-012-9609-8

Cite this article as:
Timilsina, G.R. & Mevel, S. Environ Resource Econ (2013) 55: 1. doi:10.1007/s10640-012-9609-8

Abstract

The question of whether or not biofuels help mitigate climate change has attracted much debate in the literature. Using a global computable general equilibrium model that explicitly represents land-use change impacts due to the expansion of biofuels, our study attempts to shed some light on this question. Our study shows that if biofuel mandates and targets currently announced by more than 40 countries around the world are implemented by 2020 using crop feedstocks and if both forests and pasture lands are used to meet the new land demands for biofuel expansion, this would cause net release of GHG emissions to the atmosphere until 2043 as the GHG emissions released through land-use change exceeds the reduction of emissions due to replacement of gasoline and diesel. On the other hand, if the use of forest lands is avoided by channeling only pasture lands to meet the demand for new lands, the net release of GHG emissions would cease by 2021, a year after the full implementation of the mandates and targets.

Keywords

BiofuelsClimate change mitigationComputable general equilibrium analysisDeforestationLand-use change

Abbreviations

AEEI

Autonomous energy efficiency improvement

AEZ

Agro-ecological zone

AT

Announced targets

CDE

Constant difference of elasticities

CES

Constant elasticity of substitution

CET

Constant elasticity of transformation

CGE

Computable general equilibrium

CO2

Carbon dioxide

ECA

Eastern Europe and Central Asia

EAP

East Asia and Pacific

EFTA

European Free Trade Association

ET

Enhanced targets

EU

European Union

GDP

Gross domestic product

GHG

Greenhouse gases

GTAP

Global trade analysis project

IPCC

Intergovernmental panel on climate change

LAC

Latin America and Caribbean

MENA

Middle East and North Africa

ND

Non-energy intermediate demand

SA

South Asia

SAM

Social accounting matrix

SSA

Sub-Saharan Africa

UK

United Kingdom

US

United States

VAE

Value added and energy

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012