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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Creating Markets for Green Biofuels: Measuring and improving environmental performance


This study describes how some biofuels are produced, emphasizing agricultural production systems, and considers what is needed in order to measure and communicate environmental performance, and gives examples of how this might be done. We describe a set of seven uses of a Green Biofuels Index, from a wholly market-driven implementation through a set of increasingly intrusive regulatory approaches. We then present several case studies of specific biofuel production pathways using a lifecycle analysis of the inputs to feedstock production and processing, but excluding market-mediated effects.

We recommend four steps to create markets for green biofuels: 1. Measure the global warming intensity of biofuels. 2. Measure the overall environmental performance of biomass feedstock production. 3. Develop and implement a combined Green Biofuels Index. 4. Research better practices, assessment tools, and assurance methods.

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