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Biofuels production 1975-2005 (ethanol and biodiesel)

Year: 2009 Author: Hugo Ahlenius, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
Biofuels have grown quickly in demand and production (Figure 14), fuelled by high oil prices and the initial perception of their role in reducing CO2 emissions (FAO, 2008). Biofuels, including biodiesel from palm oil and ethanol from sugarcane, corn and soybean, accounted for about 1% of the total road transport in 2005, and may reach 25% by 2050, with the EU having set targets as high as 10% by 2020 (World Bank, 2007; FAO, 2008). For many countries, such as Indonesia and Malaysia, biofuels are also seen as an opportunity to improve rural livelihoods and boost the economy through exports (Fitzherbert et al., 2008; UNEP, 2008). The US is the largest producer and consumer of bioethanol, followed by Brazil (Figure 15) (World Bank, 2007; FAO, 2008). Brazil has now used 2.7 million has of land area for this production (4.5% of the cropland area),mainly sugar cane.
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Potential for cropland expansion
Possible individual ranges of yield and cropland area losses by 2050
Biofuels production 2005, by country (ethanol and biodiesel)
Trends in world agricultural exports
FAO Food price index (FFPI)
An increasing number of countries are leasing land abroad to sustain and secure their food production
Trends in productivity 1981-2003 (greening and land degradation)
Selected drought events in Africa, 1981-1999, and livestock impacts