The Net Global Effects of Alternative U.S. Biofuel Mandates: Fossil Fuel Displacement, Indirect Land Use Change, and the Role of Agricultural Productivity Growth

Author(s): Aline Mosnier, Petr Havlík, Hugo Valin, Justin S. Baker, Brian C. Murray, Siyi Feng, Michael Obersteiner, Bruce A. McCarl, Steven K. Rose, and Uwe A. Schneider

Published: January 2012

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One of the declared objectives of U.S. biofuel policy is the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fossil fuel combustion, but many studies have questioned whether such a reduction would actually occur and, if so, how large it would be. This report describes the global market, land use, GHG emissions, and nitrogen use impacts of the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) and several alternative biofuel policy designs, which differ in terms of mandate magnitude and feedstock composition, over the 2010–2030 period.