Adventure

Error Overestimates Biofuel Savings

EU double counted biofuel carbon savings

A group of researchers at European Environment Agency Scientific Committee has released a preliminary report suggesting that the European Union has double counted the carbon savings of biofuels, potentially inviting a worldwide reevaluation of biofuels' environmental promise. Calculations under the old model led researchers to believe that the net carbon footprint of plant-based fuels was neutral or even negative, as biofuels release only carbon that they have already absorbed from the atmosphere. But in a report due early next month, the committee said those estimates failed to consider the carbon storage capacity that is lost when trees and grassland are cleared to make way for biofuel crops. "It may take decades for this carbon absorption (which offsets emissions) to catch up to the lost carbon storage and forgone carbon sequestration of the forest.” The previous calculations have been used to guide environmental policy in countries around world. "I think there's still a role for bioenergy, but maybe a little bit less positive than it is now," one of the report's authors said.

Read more at Reuters

Support Outside Online

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.

Contribute to Outside
Filed To: News
More Adventure