Research for Impact: EU Biofuel Policy

Biofuels and Food Security: Balancing Needs for Food, Feed, and Fuel, IFPRI (PDF)

On 11 July 2013, members of the environment committee of the European Union voted to limit the amount of biofuel used to meet European Union targets for the transportation industry. The vote was supported based on evidence provided by on-going research on the indirect land use change impacts of biofuels (ILUC).

The research findings are presented in a joint recommendation from David Laborde and the European Commission released as a position paper on the reduction of the EU biofuel mandates, “Assessing the Land Use Change Consequences of European Biofuel Policies”, 2011. A follow up on the discussion can be found at the IFPRI Insights article “Into the Fray: Is Europe’s Biofuel Production Good or Bad for the Environment?”, 25 April 2013.

The decision was featured in the international science journal, Nature “EU Debates U-turn on Biofuels Policy”, and is part of a larger dialogue on the environmental impact of biofuels and the effects of biofuel demand on global food systems. The plenary vote on the decision to cap EU biofuel production will take place in September. The decisions of the European Parliament are one example of potential of evidence-based research to inform and influence policy dialogues.

For more information on the recent EU vote, visit IFPRI’s Food Security Portal blog at: http://www.foodsecurityportal.org/eu-moves-one-step-closer-lower-biofuel-mandate

For more information on IFPRI’s research on biofuels, download the 2011 Global Food Policy Report on “Biofuels, Environment, and Food: The Story Gets More Complicated”, by David Laborde and Siwa Msangi.