Working Paper

EU Biofuel Policies in Practise - A Carbon Map for the Llanos Orientales in Colombia


  • Söder
  • M.
  • Suarez
  • C.F.
Publication Date

It is still difficult for biofuel producers to prove the contribution of their biofuels to reducing carbon emissions because the production of biofuel feedstocks can cause land use  change (LUC), which in turn causes carbon emissions. A carbon map can serve as a basis to proof such contribution. We show how to calculate a carbon map according to the sustainability requirements for biofuel production adopted by the European Commission (EU-RED) for the Llanos Orientales in Colombia. Based on the carbon map and the carbon balance of the production process we derive maps showing the possible emission savings that would be generated by biofuels based on palm, soy and sugar cane if an area were to be converted to produce feedstock for these biofuel options. We evaluate these maps according to the criterion contained in the EU-RED of 35% minimum emission savings for each biofuel option compared to its fossil alternative. In addition, to avoid indirect LUC effects of the EURED that might offset any contribution of biofuels to reducing carbon emissions, we argue that all  agricultural production should be subject to sustainability assessments. In this effort, our carbon map can be the basis for a sustainable land use planning that is binding for all  agricultural production in the country.


JEL Classification
Q42, Q58, Q56, Q16

Key Words

  • biofuels
  • Carbon Emissions
  • carbon map
  • Colombia
  • Flächennutzungsänderung
  • land use change
  • Renewable Energy directive

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