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Estimation of carbon emissions/savings incurred by wasteland and abandoned cropland-conversion from plantation of biofuel producing perennial tree species - Case study of India

Pragya, Namita, Sharma, Navin, Devnekar, Asha E.
Global ecology and conservation 2017 v.11 pp. 158-164
biofuels, carbon, carbon dioxide, carbon sequestration, case studies, climate change, cropland, domestic markets, ecology, energy, feedstocks, greenhouse gas emissions, greenhouse gases, issues and policy, land use change, oilseeds, plantations, trees, wastelands, India
Growing concerns of energy security and climate change mitigation have led to new policy initiatives by many countries in the area of renewable energy. In the same direction, India’s National Policy on Biofuels has now allowed producers to directly sell biofuel to consumers. This is to ensure the minimum supply of biofuels in the domestic market and meet an “indicative target” of 20% blending for biofuels. This policy change will raise concerns about greenhouse gas emissions from land-use changes (LUC) that would be incurred by accelerated production of the biofuel feedstock. Efficacy of biofuel should be assessed by accounting for its potential LUC emissions. The conversion of land from its original state to an altered state for production of biofuels feedstocks, has been shown to emit direct greenhouse gases. Perennial tree species sequester carbon dioxide (CO2) and certain oil seed bearing perennial tree species can be grown on degraded wasteland and degraded cropland and can also be used to produce biofuels. Carbon dioxide emissions/saving potential from plantations of perennial tree species on degraded wasteland and degraded cropland were studied and results showed that these tree species had huge net CO2 sequestration potential.