The EU Biofuel Policy and Palm Oil: Cutting subsidies or cutting rainforest?

The EU biofuels industry has increased its use of palm oil by 365 per cent over 2006-2012, from 0.4 to 1.9 million tonnes per year. The additional demand can be linked primarily to the growth in biodiesel production stimulated by government policies (primarily purchase mandates) during the same period. The increase in palm oil consumption in the biofuels sector has amounted to 1.6 million tonnes, or 80 per cent of the total increase in palm oil consumption in Europe (1.9 million tonnes) over 2006-2012.

State and federal subsidies to biofuels: magnitude and options for redirection

Hundreds of government subsidies have fuelled the growth of ethanol and biodiesel in the USA, worth half or more their retail price. Cumulative costs under some mandate proposals exceed $1 trillion by 2030. Even using favourable assumptions, reduced greenhouse gas emissions from biofuels are far more expensive than other options: more than $100/mt CO2e even for cellulosic ethanol and nearly $300/mt CO2e for corn-based fuel. Despite rising concerns, environmental screens in existing subsidy policies remain weak or non-existent.

Effects of Energy and Transportation Projects on Soybean Expansion in the Madeira River Basin

A number of energy and transportation projects have been proposed to promote the physical integration of Peru, Brazil and Bolivia's Amazon territories. The Madeira River Hydroelectric and Navigation Mega-project includes the construction of two hydroelectric power stations (HPS), Jirau and Santo Antônio, in Brazil, a third HPS between Abunã in Brazil and Guayaramerín in Bolivia, and probably a fourth at the Esperanza Falls on the Beni River in Bolivia.

Biofuels - At What Cost? Government support for ethanol and biodiesel in the United States: 2007 Update.

ReportSummary slides from release.  Growing production and more subsidies converge to trigger an estimated $93 billion in support to ethanol and biodiesel for the 2006-12 period.  The report also contains a detailed review of the large and potentially environmentally harmful biofuels subsidies in the pending Energy and Farm bills. Prepared fo the Global Subsidies Initiative. (Oct. 2007).

Biofuels - At What Cost? Government Support for Ethanol and Biodiesel in the United States

Detailed review of state and federal subsidies, prepared for the Global Subsidies Initiative.  Subsidy costs per unit fossil fuel or GHG displaced exceed $500 per mt of CO2-equivalent.  Policy structures are duplicative and generally linked to production rather than to the carbon displacement profile of particular producers.  Faster and more efficient ways to achieve the goals of energy security and greenhouse gas mitigation should be pursued. (October 2006).

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