Does the expansion of biofuels encroach on the forest?

Abstract : In this article, we explore the role of biofuel production on deforestation in developing and emerging countries. Since the 2000s biofuel production has been rapidly developing to address issues of economic development, energy poverty and reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, the sustainability of biofuels is being challenged in recent research, particularly at the environmental level, due to their impact on deforestation and the GHG emissions they can generate as a result of land use changes. In order to isolate the impact of bioethanol and biodiesel production among classic determinants of deforestation, we use a fixed effects panel model on biofuel production in 112 developing and emerging countries between 2001 and 2012. We find a positive relationship between bioethanol production and deforestation in these countries, among which we highlight the specificity of Upper-Middle-Income Countries (UMICs). An acceleration of incentives for the production of biofuels, linked to a desire to strengthen energy security from 2006 onwards, enables us to highlight higher marginal impacts for the production of bioethanol in the case of developing countries and UMICs. However, these results are not significant before 2006 for developing countries, and biodiesel production appears to have an impact on deforestation before 2006 on both subsamples. These last two results seem surprising and could be related to the role of biofuel production technologies and the crop yields used in their production.
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Submitted on : Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 12:08:51 PM
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Derya Keles, Johanna Choumert, Pascale Combes Motel, Eric Nazindigouba Kere. Does the expansion of biofuels encroach on the forest?. 2017. ⟨hal-01652446⟩

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