This research asks and answers a question that had been avoided by all the previous research on biofuels impacts. That is, to what extent are the US and EU biofuels sustainability criteria binding in the sense that if applied, sufficient land would be available to implement the programs? In answering the question, we simulate the global land by agro-ecological zone that would be needed to supply feedstocks for the US and EU biofuel programs using an advanced version of the GTAP-BIO model. Then we estimate the global area of land that would not be available due to sustainability criteria restrictions, again by agro-ecological zone. Finally, we determine the extent to which the US and EU sustainability criteria are binding and find that they are not binding at the biofuel levels currently targeted by the US and EU. In addition, we evaluate the same question, but this time freezing global food consumption, and get the same answer—plenty of land is available to meet the targets and supply food demands.
biofuels sustainability criteria; biofuels mandates; biofuels and food consumption
Date of this Version