SCOPE International Biofuels Project

Program or topic

SCOPE International Biofuels Project

Department(s) or unit(s)

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Contact information

Robert Howarth, Professor
rwh2@cornell.edu

Program goals

Analyze the environmental benefits and costs of biofuel technologies in order to provide the best scientific guidance to policy makers and industry.

Brief Description

The Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) of the International Council of Science (ICSU) established the International SCOPE Biofuels Project with the aim of providing a comprehensive and objective analysis of the environmental benefits and costs of biofuel technologies in order to provide the best scientific guidance to policy makers and industry. The project is chaired by Prof. Robert Howarth, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

The first phase of the project, a SCOPE Rapid Assessment Process (RAP), was held in Gummersbach, Germany in September of 2008 and provided a global view of environmental costs and potential benefits, as well as crosscutting issues and policy trade-offs, of current commercial biofuel technologies, including greenhouse gas (GHG) impacts. Nearly 40 renowned experts from various disciplines and 4 continents took part in the deliberations. In total, more than 75 technological, agricultural, ecology/environmental, economic, and social science experts (including four Cornell researchers) contributed their time and knowledge to the final report as participants, co-authors, reviewers, and advisors.

The next phase of the project aims to take a closer look at regional impacts and areas of high uncertainty highlighted in the RAP proceedings, i.e. improving quantitative GHG models and better constraining emissions of N20 – a GHG 280x stronger than CO2 – associated with energy crop production.

For more information

More information, including links to the proceedings of the Gummersbach RAP, can be found at the SCOPE Project Overview website.



Category: Bio-energy/-fuel/-gas, Energy, Greenhouse gasses, aerosols, Policy

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