HIGH-RISK VS LOW-RISK ILUC BIOFUEL FEEDSTOCKS - WHERE DOES OIL PALM FIT IN?
Gernot Klepper

Abstract
The risk of large indirect land-use change (iLUC) induced by the increasing demand for biofuel feedstocks is at the centre of the debate about the sustainability of first-generation biofuels. The Greenhouse Gas balance of biofuels is strongly affected by the amount of iLUC. Currently, the strongest focus and the highest iLUC risk is given to palm oil-based biodiesel. However, these accounts have a shaky informational base since iLUC is induced by complex market reactions to increased biofuel demand. These accounts can not be observed, but they can only be roughly approximated with economic simulation models.

What can be done to move towards low iLUC risk biofuel feedstocks? Two options are obvious. First, if biofuel feedstocks do not replace food products, there is no iLUC. Hence, increasing productivity on the plantations will lead to a supply of low or even zero iLUC risk. Secondly, if the conversion of forests is better regulated, iLUC risks will automatically reduce. Companies and governments can thus contribute to the move from high- to low-risk iLUC biofuels.
7 June, 2019
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