The EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28) requires that by 2020, biofuels should account for at least 10 per cent of transport fuel consumption. EU legislation sets out sustainability criteria for biofuels to qualify for this target and procedures for verifying that they are met. Using the AGLINK-COSIMO model, we investigate the impacts of the biofuel target on global trade flows and land use, both under the current biofuel tariff regime and assuming zero EU tariffs for biofuels. The EU’s 2020 transport fuel target increases the global area of agricultural crops by 0.9 per cent. With zero tariffs, the extra global land requirement is 21 per cent smaller, but a larger share of it falls outside the EU. This outcome sharpens the issue of how the EU’s unilateral sustainability criteria can be implemented given current international trade rules
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