IUCN-Shell: Biofuels

Removing barriers to the implementation of more sustainable biofuels

The development of sustainable biofuels is a key issue for both IUCN and Shell. In 2009, a scoping project began under the IUCN-Shell collaborative partnership agreement to identify areas where a collaborative approach could meaningfully progress sustainability issues towards:

  • Reducing Shell’s environmental impact by improving the sustainability of its biofuels portfolio
  • Improving the understanding of sustainable resource use, biodiversity conservation and livelihood risks in the biofuels supply chain
  • Developing comprehensive systems and best practices to address the direct and indirect impacts of biofuels production
  • Contributing to the development and harmonization of biofuels sustainability standards
  • Convening experts and stakeholders to develop practical solutions that address sustainability challenges across the biofuels sector.

As part of this project, a stakeholder workshop was held to identify barriers to sustainability in the biofuels value chain. The workshop produced an action plan for overcoming these barriers, with four critical areas of work.

A specific Shell-IUCN Biofuels Agreement was then initiated to realize this action plan through four complementary and interrelated approaches:

  1. Harmonizing sustainability standards
  2. Encouraging consistent and robust policy
  3. Developing better environmental information
  4. Identifying good land-use planning approaches

A key issue cutting across all four components is mitigation against indirect land-use change (iLUC) – an increasingly growing concern for biofuels production and one of IUCN’s current areas of work in relation to biofuels.


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