Presentation on theme: "BIOFUELS, BIODIVERSITY AND ENERGY SECURITY: What are the environmental and social impacts? Jeffrey A. McNeely Chief Scientist IUCN-The International for."— Presentation transcript:
BIOFUELS, BIODIVERSITY AND ENERGY SECURITY: What are the environmental and social impacts? Jeffrey A. McNeely Chief Scientist IUCN-The International for Conservation of Nature Presented to SCOPE Conference on Biofuels Gummersbach, Germany 22 September 2008
Converting food crops into biofuel “is a crime against humanity.” Jean Zeigler, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, October 2007
2007: Proble ms with oil supply becam e drama tic Energy security
Alberta’s tar sands contain billions of barrels of oil, but current yield is only 1 million barrels per day and requires 3-10 barrels of water for each barrel of oil. Maximum possible production: 3 million barrels per day
30 Biofuel yields of selected first generation ethanol and biodiesel feedstock (l not c)
Some market information… Biofuel market development during the last 5 years: now ~3% global gasoline consumption Biofuels may share ~10% of world fuel use for transport by 2025 Less than 10% of global biofuels production is internationally traded But important expansion in global trade: key consumers (EU, US, and Japan) will not have the domestic capacity to meet internal demand
Biodiesel Produced from seeds such as palm, jatropha, canola, sunflower and soy
Rail line between Mumbai and Delhi is planted with Jatropha and the trains run on 15-20% biodiesel
In Brazil, sugarcane fields lose up to 30 tons of topsoil per ha per year Burning of sugarcane fields before harvesting emits carbon Sugarcane produces the most ethanol per hectare One million jobs, mostly low-paying How can smallholders work with large processors?
Using US maize to produce ethanol increased tortilla price in Mexico
The cost of producing Beer in Germany is increasing, as farmers turn from growing barley to growing biofuels
The European Commissioner for Agriculture cancelled subsidies for set-asides in 2008, because of demand for biofuels. The EU has mandated that biofuel must provide 5.6% of transport energy by 2010. Policy may have gotten ahead of science
Some key complexities of bioenergy remain Diverse components: Feedstock supply, conversion technology, and energy use Diverse economic, social, and environmental factors Diverse scales, from local to international Diverse objectives, from energy autonomy at the local level to serving international markets What should be the basis for the necessary trade-offs?
Three main systems of biomass production for energy System 1. Small-holder production for local use System 2. Small-holder production with commerical processing System 3. Medium- and large-scale commercial production
System 1. A multifunctional landscape with bioenergy potential
System 2. Canola in France is often sold commercially by smallholders
Enkoping, Sweden: First European town powered by bioenergy
System 3. Maize and sugarcane are often grown commercially for external markets
The US has 113 ethanol distilleries and 77 more are under construction. Potential capacity: Over 44 billion liters (about 5% of US fuel consumption) “Business Advisory: 16 Ethanol Plants Filing Bankruptcy, Many More to Come” DTN 20 June 2008.
Gain clear understanding of economic, environmental and social impacts of bioenergy production & trade before making policy Be guided by risk assessment of comparative advantages, land availability and food security impacts Encourage investment on better environmental technologies and practices for all renewable sources of energy Do not expect biomass to be a main source of energy – conservation often remains the most cost-effective option Use overall land use plans as the basis for planning bioenergy production at the landscape scale Some recommendations