The Land-Use Implications of EU Bioenergy Policy: Going Beyond ILUC

The EU Renewable Energy Directive promotes the use of biofuels in transport by providing for a 10% target for renewable energy in transport by the year 2020 to be met by each Member State. There is concern that the increased use of biofuels will lead to considerable land use change whether in Europe or beyond. This briefing discusses some of the modelling work that is undertaken in support of quantifying the land use change impact and its associated emissions. It does so by providing a short and concise introduction to the kinds of models used and a discussion of key drivers of results. The paper argues that the current debate on the indirect land use impacts on biofuels should be seen as an opportunity for an extended and general debate on agricultural and other activities impacting on land use.