Efforts to reduce the indirect land use change (ILUC) -related carbon emissions caused by biofuels has led to inclusion of an ILUC factor as a part of the carbon intensity of biofuels in a Low Carbon Fuel Standard. While previous research has provided varying estimates of this ILUC factor, there has been no research examining the economic effects and additional carbon savings from including this factor in implementing a Low Carbon Fuel Standard. Here we show that inclusion of an ILUC factor in a national Low Carbon Fuel Standard led to additional abatement of cumulative emissions over 2007-2027 by 1.3 to 2.6% (0.6-1.1 billion mega-grams carbon-dioxide-equivalent (Mg CO 2 e-1) compared to those without an ILUC factor, depending on the ILUC factors utilized. The welfare cost to the US of this additional abatement ranged from $61 to $187 MgCO2e-1 and was substantially greater than the social cost of carbon of $50 MgCO2e-1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number15513
JournalNature communications
StatePublished - Jun 26 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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