EU Science Hub

Assessing the impacts of the EU bioeconomy on third countries

Abstract: 

To achieve its decarbonisation targets and boost the bioeconomy, the EU will inevitably consume more biomass. The EU’s own biomass resources will meet part of the demand although these ambitious targets will also require reliable and sustained access to third country suppliers. This ex-ante study assesses the potential impacts on land use changes, and associated GHG emissions, in Brazil resulting from increases in EU demand for ethanol to 2030, and draws evidence-based conclusions to verify the compliance of sugarcane feedstock production with the REDII environmental criteria. Land use changes due to expansion of the other main crops, including soybean, have also been calculated. Finally, the study points out that the difference between the country’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) targets by 2030 (ca. 22 million CO2 tons) and our results is approximately an additional 900 million CO2 tons, which could put the country's contribution to Paris Agreement at risk.