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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Economie Publique

UMR Economie Publique


Valentin Gueye (PSAE, INRAE & MCC) : January, 25th 2022

Tuesday, January 25 th 2022

Valentin Gueye (PSAE, INRAE & MCC) will present "Indirect land use change from biofuels: empirical evidence from the US Renewable Fuel Standards and pan-tropical deforestation".



Globalized and interdependent agricultural markets mediate supply and demand shocks across commodities, space and time. In particular, increasing demand for biofuels can have indirect land use change (ILUC) effects on tropical forests, with severe consequences. This has been vastly theorized and simulated, but is inherently difficult to confirm empirically. In this paper, I provide the first empirical tests of ILUC theories at comprehensive commodity, spatial and time scales, and I quantify from high-resolution data the deforestation for soy and oil palm caused by the United-States Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS), one of the major biofuel policies worldwide. I use the early-determined agenda of biofuel mandates under the RFS, interacted with the orthogonal distribution of potential yields from 20 land uses, to causally investigate several predictions from ILUC theories. Results show that RFS mandates increased deforestation in locations relatively more suited for crops that are substitutes (as a land use and/or for consumption) with maize, the main biofuel feedstock under RFS. This confirms market-mediated theories of ILUC, and that biofuel policies can cause tropical deforestation. This evidence is clearer in America than in Asia and Africa. Deforestation for soy in America, and for oil palm in Asia, does react to biofuel mandates, but magnitude estimates are not yet available.