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Bioenergy and global land-use change

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This is the first article that econometrically estimates the global land-use change impact of bioenergy. Applying time-series analytical mechanisms to fuel, biofuel and agricultural commodity prices and production, we estimate the long-run relationship between energy prices, bioenergy production and the global land-use change. Our results suggest that rising energy prices and bioenergy production significantly contribute to the global land-use change both through the direct and indirect land-use change impact. Globally, the total agricultural area yearly increases by 35 578.1 thousand ha due to increasing oil price, and by 12 125.1 thousand ha due to increasing biofuel production, which corresponds to 0.73% and 0.25% of the total worldwide agricultural area, respectively. Soya land-use change and wheat land-use change have the highest elasticities with respect to both oil price and biofuel production. In contrast, nonbiomass crops (grassland and rice) have negative land-use change elasticities. Region-specific results suggest that South America faces the largest yearly total land-use change associated with oil price increase (+10 600.7 thousand ha), whereas Asia (+8918.6 thousand ha), South America (+4024.9 thousand ha) and North America (+1311.5 thousand ha) have the largest yearly total land-use change associated with increase in biofuel production.

Keywords: C22; C51; Q11; Q13; Q42; bioenergy; biofuel support policies; commodity prices; fuel; land-use change

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Slovak University of Agriculture, A. Hlinku 2, 94976, Nitra, Slovakia 2: DG Joint Research Centre, European Commission, Inca Garcilaso, 3, 41092, Seville, Spain

Publication date: 2014-09-12

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