A report by the International Food Policy Research Institute claims that using up to 5.6% of biofuels in European road transport does deliver net greenhouse gas reduction even when including a calculation of detrimental land-use effects.
However, with biofuel use above 5.6%, the environmental effects of the increased land use and the emissions caused are said to rapidly increase and erode the environmental sustainability of biofuels.
The report had been requested by the European Commission to better understand the indirect land-use changes caused by biofuels. This issue has been at the centre of the contentious debate since subsidised biofuels were taken up in the road transport industry in Europe. Many experts claim increased use of biofuels, without strict environmental controls, can cause increased deforestation in areas like Brazil as more land is needed to produce the fuel.