Global consequences of the bioenergy greenhouse gas accounting error

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Like the global financial crisis, which resulted in part from misguided accounting of mortgages, global policies to expand transportation biofuels and bioelectricity reflect an accounting error. Although the carbon accounting in these policies assumes that plant growth offsets all carbon released by burning biofuels, only additional plant growth can provide an offset. Because they double count biomass and land already used by people or sequestering carbon, many policy proposals aim for bioenergy to supply 20% or more of the world's energy by 2050. That would require almost doubling the present global harvest of plants for all uses, which would likely lead to extensive deforestation and increase greenhouse gases. Fixing the accounting would focus policies on the more limited potential for truly low carbon biofuels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEnergy, Transport, & the Environment: Addressing the Sustainable Mobility Paradigm
PublisherSpringer-Verlag London Ltd
Number of pages33
ISBN (Electronic)9781447127178
ISBN (Print)9781447127161
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Energy


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