Saturday, March 28, 2015

Do Biofuel Policies Seek to Cut Emissions by Cutting Food?

What will happen to food prices as more agricultural land is used for biofuel instead of growing food? What are the other trade-offs? (Credit: © janifest / Fotolia) Click to Enlarge.
A study published Friday in the journal Science found that government biofuel policies rely on reductions in food consumption to generate greenhouse gas savings.

Shrinking the amount of food that people and livestock eat decreases the amount of carbon dioxide that they breathe out or excrete as waste.  The reduction in food available for consumption, rather than any inherent fuel efficiency, drives the decline in carbon dioxide emissions in government models, the researchers found.

"Without reduced food consumption, each of the models would estimate that biofuels generate more emissions than gasoline," said Timothy Searchinger, first author on the paper and a research scholar at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Program in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy.

Read more at Do Biofuel Policies Seek to Cut Emissions by Cutting Food?

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