PerspectivePlant Science

Best practices for biofuels

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Science  06 Jun 2014:
Vol. 344, Issue 6188, pp. 1095-1096
DOI: 10.1126/science.1255812

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One reason for the use of biofuels is to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with liquid transportation fuels. However, the large amount of land needed to displace a sizable fraction of fossil fuel use has raised concerns that land will be used to produce fuels instead of animal feed and food, and that ecosystems may come under additional pressure. In considering the many different ways of producing such fuels, it is possible to envision both good and bad outcomes, depending on the approach (1). Thus, comments about biofuels in recent reports from Working Groups 2 and 3 (WG2 and WG3) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2, 3) and a recent report by Liska et al. (4) have a special weight in the public discourse.