Environmental and Resource Economics

, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 1–19 | Cite as

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

  • Govinda R. TimilsinaEmail author
  • Simon Mevel


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.


Biofuels Climate change mitigation Computable general equilibrium analysis Deforestation Land-use change 



Autonomous energy efficiency improvement


Agro-ecological zone


Announced targets


Constant difference of elasticities


Constant elasticity of substitution


Constant elasticity of transformation


Computable general equilibrium


Carbon dioxide


Eastern Europe and Central Asia


East Asia and Pacific


European Free Trade Association


Enhanced targets


European Union


Gross domestic product


Greenhouse gases


Global trade analysis project


Intergovernmental panel on climate change


Latin America and Caribbean


Middle East and North Africa


Non-energy intermediate demand


South Asia


Social accounting matrix


Sub-Saharan Africa


United Kingdom


United States


Value added and energy


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environment and Energy UnitDevelopment Research Group, The World BankWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.Economic Affairs Officer, Trade and International Negotiations Section, Regional Integration, Infrastructure & Trade DivisionUnited Nations Economic Commission for AfricaAddis AbabaEthiopia

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