For example, converting pasture, forest, grassland, peatland and wetland for biofuel feedstock production fall under the LUC category, the land cover and use being adapted. But when biofuel- feedstock production replaces other agricultural production, such as food,
feed or fibre, and
encroaches on natural land this counts as iLUC. This is also referred to as ‘leakage’ or a ‘domino effect’. Key risks from both direct and indirect land-use changes include higher GHG emissions, lower food security and loss of biodiversity – loss of ecosystem services, resources and processes that are supplied by natural ecosystems.
Ensuring that growing biofuel feedstock does not have an adverse ecological impact in third countries has become a priority concern. The EU and several countries have, for example, introduced various sustainability measures enforced for example through certification schemes. It remains to be seen whether certification can deliver the required monitoring and enforcement of more sustainable practices over a long and complex supply chain.
Food Security Biofuels have been criticised for causing food insecurity, but many other factors often play a far more significant role than biofuels. But rapid, large- scale growth in biofuel production without sufficient safeguards does pose a risk for food security. This risk needs to be seen in the context of population growth, changing diets, slowing crop-yield improvements, and climate-change impacts on agriculture.
While much has been said about the risks, little has been said about the opportunities which biofuels can bring to food security with appropriate policies
Figure 3.1.9 Additional people at risk of hunger in 2020 26