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Assessing the Interactions among U.S. Climate Policy, Biomass Energy, and Agricultural Trade

Abstract:
Energy from biomass is potentially an important contributor to U.S. climate change mitigation efforts. However, large-scale implementation of bioenergy competes with other uses of land, including agriculture and forest production and terrestrial carbon storage in non-commercial lands. And with trade, bioenergy could mean greater reliance on imported energy. Based on EMF-24 policy specifications, this paper explores these dimensions of bioenergy's role in U.S. climate policy and the relationship to alternative measures for ameliorating the trade and land use consequences. It shows how widespread use of biomass in the U.S. could lead to imports; and it highlights that the relative stringency of domestic and international carbon mitigation policy will heavily influence the amount of imports. It demonstrates that limiting biomass imports could alter the balance of trade in other agricultural products. Finally, it shows that increasing efforts to protect both U.S. and international forests could also affect the balance of trade in other agricultural products. Keywords: Biomass, Bioenergy, Land use, Climate mitigation, Agricultural trade

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Keywords: Biomass, Bioenergy, Land use, Climate mitigation, Agricultural trade

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.35.SI1.9

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Published in Volume 35, Special Issue of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.