The land use change impact of biofuels consumed in the EU

The European Commission published a study by Ecofys, IIASA and E4tech that quantifies the land use change impact of biofuels consumed in the EU. Biofuels are promoted as an option to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector. As most biofuels are currently produced from land based crops, there is a concern that the increased consumption of biofuels requires agricultural expansion at a global scale, leading to additional carbon emissions. This effect is called Indirect Land Use Change, or ILUC. This subject has dominated the biofuels policy debate for many years. The European Commission contracted Ecofys, IIASA and E4tech to quantify the total Land Use Change emissions from EU biofuel consumption. The modelling approach and input parameters are based on best available science and literature, and involved the active participation of many stakeholders to improve the quality of the model and underlying data. Still, as in any modelling study, a number of uncertainties remain.