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Why are Biofuels Needed to Decrease Greenhouse Gases?

Four AAEA members publish research in AEPP

Electric vehicles are being introduced gradually, and even with aggressive policy support they are expected to reach 50% of total fleet by 2050, making it imperative to use low carbon biofuels to reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector by mid-century. Improvement in biotechnology and bioengineering provide new opportunities to produce advanced biofuels from non-food crops; however it is critical to continue investment in research and development and provide policy incentives for producing bioenergy crops for advanced biofuels.  

In a new article in the Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy (AEPP), Past President of AAEA, and professor at the University of California, Berkeley, David Zilberman along with Madhu Khanna and Deepayan Debnath from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Deepak Rajagopal from the University of California, Los Angeles, examine why biofuels are needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.

Madhu Khanna says, “We argue that the potential of biofuel has not yet been fully realized. There are opportunities to increase farmers' income by increasing productivity of traditional crops and releasing cropland for biofuels, increasing biofuels from non-food crops and making food and biofuel complementary rather than in conflict.”

The article “The Future of Biofuels in an Electrifying Global Transportation Sector: Imperative, Prospects and Challenges” is available on the AEPP website for a limited time. This research was funded by the USDOE’s Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproduct Innovation and by the Global Climate and Energy Project.

If you are interested in setting up an interview with Madhu Khanna, please contact Allison Scheetz in the AAEA Business Office.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes two journals, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices and the online open access publication series Applied Economics Teaching Resources. To learn more, visit

Contact: Allison Scheetz
Senior Communications Manager
(414) 918-3190