BIOFUELS IMPACT: The Indirect Use of Land Change

Biofuels are considered to be a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to the use of fossil fuels for transportation and power production. Many governments across the globe have adopted plant-based fuel requirements to their energy policies. Mandatory diversions of food and seed crops to the production of biofuels have resulted in increased need for arable land, especially in developing countries. Forests, and other vegetative habitats are being converted into land dedicated to the production of ethanol and other biofuels leading to the issue of Indirect Land Use Change or ILUC.ILUC is a wicked problem defined as an unintended consequence of producing biofuels like ethanol. Processing renewable plant material to produce clean-burning alcohol seems like win-win for everyone. Upon closer examination, it turns out that rain forests, grasslands and other oxygen producing vegetation are being cut down or burned to make way for new farmland, intended to grow biomass for fuel.  This is driven by several factors, Political creating more mandates for use without realizing the extent of the problem.  Economically by the stake holders who have invested in the older form of Biofuels and would stand to lose their investment if the system is changed.   With all of the old or incorrect information being spread people who are looking to support an alternative solution do not fully understand the extent of the issue they are creating by supporting the older Biofuels.

 

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