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CIFOR Releases Paper on Carbon Accounting for Bioenergy

4 July 2011: The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) has released a paper titled "Improved methods for carbon accounting for bioenergy: Descriptions and evaluations." The paper explains that because bioenergy is counted under the UNFCCC as originating from the land-use sector rather than the energy sector, bioenergy emissions are often not fully accounted for in countries with greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions obligations.

The paper also notes that regulatory approaches for bioenergy are under consideration in the EU and the US. It therefore examines three approaches for bioenergy accounting: counting carbon dioxide emissions from bioenergy combustion unaccounted for in the energy sector; counting bioenergy combustion emissions accounted for in the energy sector; and accounting for all other emissions along the supply chain. The systems are evaluated based on comprehensiveness, simplicity and scale independence, and against three stakeholder goals: stimulation of rural economies and food security; GHG emission reductions; and preservation of forests.

The paper finds that a supply chain approach supports emission reductions and preservation of forests, but is more complicated than the other approaches. The work is part of CIFOR's European Commission funded project on "Bioenergy, sustainability and trade-offs: Can we avoid deforestation while promoting bioenergy?" CIFOR is a member of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CIFOR). [Publication: Improved Methods for Carbon Accounting for Bioenergy: Descriptions and Evaluations]