JRC News

  1. 5 Aug 2010

    The European Commission has launched a public consultation on indirect land use change and biofuels. Indirect land use change (ILUC) occurs when land formerly used for a food crop is turned over to production of biofuels. As a result, cultivation of the displaced food crop is often transferred to a location where land prices and the costs associated with agriculture are lower – this can be on grasslands and forested land. This is of concern because the deforestation and cultivation of virgin or semi-virgin land releases high levels of carbon previously held in soil and plants into the atmosphere. Subsequent use of nitrogen fertilizers on poorer soils would also lead to emissions of N2O from the soil.

  2. 9 Jul 2010

    The JRC has substantially contributed to the new EU system established to ensure that European biofuels and bioliquids come from sustainable sources and meet the highest environmental standards. A key tool is the JRC's methodology to quantify changes to the amount of carbon in soils and biomass when land use changes as a result of biofuels production. This is an important factor in the sustainability assessment. The methodology follows the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guidelines for national greenhouse gas inventories and is supported by comprehensive global data collected by the JRC. The methodology was the basis for the Commission decision on the guidelines for the calculation of land carbon stocks.