Shifting away from conventional biofuels

AUTHORS: Bettina Kretschmer – Ben Allen – Daniel Kieve – Claire Smith

An important debate is underway about the future of biofuels in Europe and the UK, triggered by the realisation that current biofuel consumption has greater environmental and social impacts than first anticipated. These include the impacts on land use of increased cultivation of crops for biofuel use and the consequences for the level of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the biofuels, as well as global agricultural market impacts and associated social consequences.

Promoted for their potential to provide greater GHG savings over conventional biofuels from food and feed crops, advanced biofuels produced from wastes and residues are seen as one way to deal with these impacts, both in the UK and elsewhere. Questions remain, however, about the sustainability of some feedstocks and the volumes of biomass that would be available for the biofuel sector. This

new IEEP report produced for ActionAid considers:

  • the potential domestic wastes and residues that can help reduce the environmental, social and economic consequences of UK biofuel consumption, including overseas ILUC impacts;
  • the sustainable volumes of these wastes and residues that could be available for advanced biofuel production; and 
  • the UK job creation potential as a result of building a sustainable advanced transport fuel industry.

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