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Facilitating carbon (GHG) accreditation schemes for biofuels, feedstock production

HGCA PROJECT REPORT 435 Part 1 

Facilitating carbon (GHG) accreditation schemes for biofuels, feedstock production 


by
Jeremy Woods1, Gareth Brown2, Alfred Gathorne-Hardy2,
Roger Sylvester-Bradley3, Daniel Kindred3 and Nigel Mortimer4


1 Porter Alliance, Imperial College London, Prince Consort Road, South Kensington Campus London SW7 2BP
2 Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London, Prince Consort Road, South Kensington Campus London SW7 2BP
3ADAS Boxworth, Boxworth, Cambridge, CB23 4NN
4North Energy Associates, Watson's Chambers, 5-15 Market Place,
Sheffield S1 2GH


July 2008

Executive summary

Agriculture and transport contribute around one third of global greenhouse gas emissions and both their share and gross emissions continues to grow.  The growing share of emissions from transport coupled to its increasing dependence on oil, have provided powerful drivers for biofuel production growth over the last few years.  However, biofuels remain contentious, not least because the GHG-abatement benefits are widely contested. The research reported here shows that very substantial reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are possible from so-called conventional bioethanol and biodiesel fuels manufactured from UK-produced feedstocks (wheat grain and oil seed rape) when substituting for mineral petrol and diesel.

Due to land constraints in the UK, providing a substantial share of the UK's transport fuels from indigenously supplied biofuels may not be possible. However, UK farmers can demonstrate how efficient, modern agriculture can deliver very low GHG emitting biofuels enabling them to be competitive in an emerging global market that rewards such low GHG options and satisfying Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) requirements. Furthermore these standards could serve as a template for crop production in general.

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