An alternative approach to indirect land use change: Allocating greenhouse gas effects among different uses of land

Seungdo Kim, Bruce E. Dale, Rebecca G. Ong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Indirect land use change (iLUC) is hypothesized to occur when increasing demand for land due to bioenergy production displaces food and feed production onto new lands, thereby potentially producing large greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) during the land conversion event. Thus far, the totality of the projected iLUC effect has been assigned to biofuel production. In fact, multiple drivers of land use change exist and the resulting GHG releases should, in fairness, be allocated among these drivers. It seems more useful and intellectually rigorous to allocate potential land use change effects among these many drivers. This paper focuses on how to allocate the environmental consequences of iLUC to the multiple drivers through a function-oriented approach, namely human nutritional requirements for calories and protein. "Food versus Biofuel" issues can then be more usefully addressed as "Nutrition versus Biofuel" issues. Human beings actually have many choices in how we provide ourselves with adequate diets, and these choices have very different GHG and land use consequences. Therefore, in this paper, GHG assigned to iLUC is allocated between ethanol and human dietary preferences via a human nutrition-based method. Applying allocation approaches to iLUC lowers the estimated GHG of iLUC by up to 73% compared to GHG estimates in the GTAP model. For example, global warming intensity (GWI) of ethanol measured as CO 2 equivalent becomes 58.2 g MJ -1, while GWI of ethanol calculated using GREET is 68.9 g MJ -1.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages447-452
Number of pages6
JournalBiomass and Bioenergy
Volume46
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2012

Profile

greenhouse gases
Greenhouse gases
Land use
land use change
greenhouse gas
land use
greenhouse gas emissions
Gas emissions
biofuel
Biofuels
Nutrition
biofuels
ethanol
Ethanol
Global warming
nutrition
global warming
multiple land use
nutritional requirement
effect

Keywords

  • Allocation
  • Coarse grain
  • Ethanol
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Indirect land use change
  • Nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Forestry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal

Cite this

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abstract = "Indirect land use change (iLUC) is hypothesized to occur when increasing demand for land due to bioenergy production displaces food and feed production onto new lands, thereby potentially producing large greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) during the land conversion event. Thus far, the totality of the projected iLUC effect has been assigned to biofuel production. In fact, multiple drivers of land use change exist and the resulting GHG releases should, in fairness, be allocated among these drivers. It seems more useful and intellectually rigorous to allocate potential land use change effects among these many drivers. This paper focuses on how to allocate the environmental consequences of iLUC to the multiple drivers through a function-oriented approach, namely human nutritional requirements for calories and protein. {"}Food versus Biofuel{"} issues can then be more usefully addressed as {"}Nutrition versus Biofuel{"} issues. Human beings actually have many choices in how we provide ourselves with adequate diets, and these choices have very different GHG and land use consequences. Therefore, in this paper, GHG assigned to iLUC is allocated between ethanol and human dietary preferences via a human nutrition-based method. Applying allocation approaches to iLUC lowers the estimated GHG of iLUC by up to 73{\%} compared to GHG estimates in the GTAP model. For example, global warming intensity (GWI) of ethanol measured as CO 2 equivalent becomes 58.2 g MJ -1, while GWI of ethanol calculated using GREET is 68.9 g MJ -1.",
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