29 Jan '15, 3pm

Biofuels: Wrong Direction for a Sustainable Food and Climate Future

Biofuels: Wrong Direction for a Sustainable Food and Climate Future

This opportunity cost of land also explains why bioenergy will rarely reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Studies that find bioenergy reduces greenhouse gases incorrectly view plants as a carbon-free fuel and ignore the very real carbon emitted by burning them. The theory has been that the original growth of the plants absorbs enough carbon to offset the carbon released when they burn. But if those plants were going to grow and absorb carbon anyway—and typically they would—then diverting them to bioenergy does not remove any additional carbon from the atmosphere. Instead, bioenergy comes at the expense of some other uses of those plants. When the expense is food or agricultural land, the effect is poorer nutrition. When the expense is forests or woody savannas, the effect is less stored carbon.

Full article: http://ecowatch.com/2015/01/29/biofuels-wrong-direction/

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