Brazil's current and future land balances: Is there residual land for bioenergy production?by Selma Lossau, Günther Fischer, Sylvia Tramberend, Harrij van Velthuizen, Birgit Kleinschmit, Reinhard Schomäcker

Biomass and Bioenergy


s: ren

Article history:

Received 30 October 2014

Received in revised form 17 April 2015

Accepted 17 July 2015

Available online 11 August 2015

With demand for liquid biofuel on the world market increasing,

Brazil, today's largest producer and consumer of sugarcane ethanol, is considered a major potential supplier of biofuels to the world market. Brazil has large land endowments and technologically been developed osition to produce ntial potential for ) emissions. Food including modern global goals. This s possible to inteland use. limited and needs to be assessed in depth [2]. Doubts have been raised regarding as to whether direct and indirect land use changes can help mitigate GHG emissions [3]. There are also questions about the potential environmental, social and economic impacts of growing biofuels; for example, the competition they pose to the food supply, the risks of reducing biodiversity, the impacts onwater availability and quality, and the lack of benefits to those directly* Corresponding author. Eyachstr.37, D-70165 Sindelfingen, Germany.

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Biomass and w.e

Biomass and Bioenergy 81 (2015) 452e461E-mail address: (S. Lossau).ested in finding alternative fuelsd especially biofuels d for combustion engines.

The amount of land resources that can be dedicated to agricultural land expansion for biofuel feedstock production may be1. Introduction

Demographic changes and economic growth will cause a more than a doubling of world transport capacity over the next halfcentury and substantially increase demand for fuel, particularly in the developing countries [1]. The combustion engine will continue to be a dominant engine system for many years to come, especially for freight transport. The automotive industry is therefore interadvanced sugarcane agro-industries that have since the 1970s. These place Brazil in a leading p biofuels economically, and this implies a substa mitigating anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG security and promotion of renewable energy, uses of biomass as a source of energy, are key raises the important question as to whether it i grate these goals into strategies for sustainableKeywords:

Brazilian land balance

Residual land

Sequential downscaling

Sustainability criteria 0961-9534/© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.This study presents a new database of land use categories in Brazil at a spatial resolution of 30 arc-second (about 1 km2). The spatial representation of current major land uses formally combines agricultural statistics from Brazil's latest census of the year 2006 at micro-region level and the Food and Agriculture

Organization 2010 forest statistics with spatial land cover data sets. Spatial allocation (“downscaling”) algorithms were applied to obtain a spatial distribution of seven major land use categories. Remaining shares in each grid-cell were termed residual land, and were categorized according to legal protection status, biodiversity value, and whether they belong to the territory of the Amazon biome. We found a total of 84 Mha residual land of which 37 Mha occurred outside the territory of the Amazon biome and was neither legally protected nor categorized as highly biodiverse land. The 37 Mha “available residual land” equates to 4.4% of Brazil's geographical area and to 50% of its current cultivated land area. We assessed land quality using the Agro-ecological Zones modelling framework provides land suitability and productivity estimates of the available residual land. Nearly one-third of land emerged of prime quality and is therefore promising for biofuel feedstock production. Analysis of potential food-fuel competition suggests that until 2030 productivity improvements on current pastures could accommodate land demand for Brazil's increasing cattle herd and expanding croplands. If these productivity increases could be achieved on current agricultural land, residual land could provide areas for the sustainable expansion of biofuel feedstock production. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c tResearch paper

Brazil's current and future land balance bioenergy production?

Selma Lossau a, *, Günther Fischer b, Sylvia Trambe

Birgit Kleinschmit a, Reinhard Schom€acker a a Technical University Berlin, D-10632 Berlin, Germany b International Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA), A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria journal homepage: http : / /wwIs there residual land for d b, Harrij van Velthuizen b,

Bioenergy lsevier .com/locate/biombioe 2. Methodology and data 2.1. Overview and approach in individual 30 arc-second longitude/latitude grid-cells (about 2 d Bioenergy 81 (2015) 452e461 453affected by large-scale introduction of biofuel production [4].

Brazil is endowed with significant land resources and is a land use change hot spot; these challenges for Brazil thus have both local and global dimensions [5]. Brazilian agriculture covers about onefourth of the country's territory; it has expanded substantially during recent decades and is expected to expand further in response to the growing demand for food, livestock feed, and liquid biofuel feedstocks [6]. At the same time, safeguarding biodiversityrich ecosystems and the avoidance of GHG emissions from deforestation and land use change are essential for achieving sustainable land use.

Securing food production involves both meeting the increasing demand locally for a rapidly growing middle class and serving the growing markets for export of agricultural commodities. Brazil is spearheading the development of sugarcane-derived ethanol for the country's growing fleet of flex-fuel vehicles and increasing world market demands. Today the vast majority of liquid biofuel feedstocks, primarily sugarcane for ethanol production, are benefiting from the favorable climatic conditions of Brazil's southeast and central-east regions. Brazilian sugarcane based bioethanol production in 2013 was 28 billion litres [7]. In view of the envisaged expansion of sugarcane, the Brazilian government conducted a study to identify new areas suitable for sugarcane production [8].