Argentina

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Bioenergy > Regions > Latin America and the Caribbean > Argentina


Information about biofuels and bioenergy in Argentina.

  • Argentina is the second largest country in South America and has the highest Human Development Index level and Gross Domestic Product per capita of any country in Latin America. The Argentine government has passed major legislation promoting the use of biofuels, including a mandate of 5% ethanol, and 5% biodiesel at gas pumps and tax incentives to producers of these fuels.


Contents

Events

2009

2008

Issues

  • Pros and Cons of Argentina's new biofuels legislation - The new law, passed in April of 2006, grants tax incentives to producers of biofuels and ensures a market for these fuels by mandating a certain percentage of fuel sold at gas stations to be biodiesel or ethanol. Critics say that the downside of this plan will be an increased demand for soybean production which threatens biodiversity and causes social problems of land management and ownership. [1]

News

  • First EU sustainability schemes for biofuels get the go-ahead, 19 July 2011 press release by the European Commission: "In order to receive government support or count towards mandatory national renewable energy targets, biofuels used in the EU, whether locally produced or imported, have to comply with sustainability criteria. These criteria aim at preventing the conversion of areas of high biodiversity and high carbon stock for the production of raw materials for biofuels. In practice this means that biofuels made of crops that have been grown on land that used to be rainforest or natural grassland with a unique ecosystem cannot be considered as sustainable. In addition, the greenhouse gas emissions over the whole production chain need to be at least 35% lower compared to fossil fuels. That threshold will increase over time."
    • "Companies can choose whether to demonstrate compliance with these sustainability requirements through national systems or by joining a voluntary scheme which is recognised by the Commission."
    • "After a detailed assessment made by the Commission and various improvements the following schemes were recognised:
      • ISCC (German (government financed) scheme covering all types of biofuels)
      • Bonsucro EU (Roundtable initiative for sugarcane based biofuels, focus on Brazil)
      • RTRS EU RED (Roundtable initiative for soy based biofuels, focus on Argentina and Brazil)
      • RSB EU RED (Roundtable initiative covering all types of biofuels)
      • 2BSvs (French industry scheme covering all types of biofuels)
      • RSBA (Industry scheme for Abengoa covering their supply chain)
      • Greenergy (Industry scheme for Greenergy covering sugar cane ethanol from Brazil)
    • "The Commission is currently discussing with other voluntary schemes how these can also improve their standard in order to meet the sustainability requirements for biofuels."[2]
  • Two-thirds of UK biofuel fails green standard, figures show, 27 January 2011 by the Guardian: "Less than one-third of the biofuel used on UK roads meets government environmental standards intended to protect water supplies, soil quality and carbon stocks, according to new figures."
    • "The Renewable Fuels Agency says that just 31% of the biofuel supplied under the government's initiative to use fuel from plants to help tackle climate change met its green standard. For the remaining 69% of the biofuel, suppliers could not say where it came from, or could not prove it was produced in a sustainable way, the figures show."
    • "The majority of UK biofuel is imported. Biodiesel from soy was the single biggest source (31%) in 2009/10, with a large increase in Argentinian soy compared to the previous year, something that Friends of the Earth biofuels campaigner Kenneth Richter calls a 'huge cause for concern'."[3]
  • Surging costs hit food security in poorer nations, 6 June 2010 by Associated Press: "With food costing up to 70 percent of family income in the poorest countries, rising prices are squeezing household budgets and threatening to worsen malnutrition....Compounding the problem in many countries: prices hardly fell from their peaks in 2008, when global food prices jumped in part due to a smaller U.S. wheat harvest and demand for crops to use in biofuels."
    • "The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization's food price index — which includes grains, meat, dairy and other items in 90 countries — was up 22 percent in March from a year earlier though still below 2008 levels."
    • "Costs also have been pushed up by a rebound in global commodity prices, especially for soy destined for Asian consumption. That has prompted a shift in Argentina and elsewhere to produce more for export, which has led to local shortages of beef and other food."
    • "In Argentina, soy production has taken over more than 32 million acres (13 million hectares) of grassland once used to raise cattle and replaced less profitable wheat and corn as well, driving up prices in supermarkets."[4]
  • Biofuel producers warn EU over "unjustifiably complex" sustainability rules, 7 November 2008 by BusinessGreen: "Eight developing countries have written to the EU warning they will complain to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) if it passes proposed legislation designed to improve the environmental sustainability of biofuels by restricting the types of fuels the bloc imports."
    • "The EU is considering legislation that is intended to ban the purchase of biofuels from energy crop plantations that are believed to harm the environment and lead to food shortages by displacing land used for food crops and contributing to rainforest deforestation."
    • "[E]ight countries – Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Malawi, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Indonesia and Malaysia – have written to the EU to protest against the proposals" in a letter that "claims that the new rules would 'impose unjustifiably complex requirements on producers' and argues that environmental criteria 'relating to land-use change will impinge disproportionately on developing countries'."[5]

Organizations

Governmental organizations

Nongovernmental organizations

Companies

  • Biofuels SA - according to the company's founder Biofuels SA manufacturers and sells biodiesel reactors that produce high quality biodiesel with half the energy input of other reactors.

Policies/Issues

  • "In Argentina, the Biofuels Act, approved in April, imposes a requirement of five percent biodiesel or ethanol in petroleum derivatives beginning in January 2010," according to the IPS article Biofuel Boom Sparks Environmental Fears
    • The article further states that this "requires 600,000 tonnes of biodiesel and 160,000 tonnes of ethanol annually for the domestic market, which would absorb eight and three percent, respectively, of national output of soybeans and maize."[6]


Argentina edit

Events | Issues | News | Policies | Publications | Organizations (Companies)

Latin America and the Caribbean edit

Regional institutions: Inter-American Development Bank (IDB Biofuels Sustainability Scorecard) | International Ethanol Commission
Caribbean Basin Initiative | Southern Agricultural Council
Organizations: LAC-CORE
Countries - Caribbean: Antigua & Barbuda | Aruba | Bahamas | Barbados | Cayman Islands | Cuba | Dominica | Dominican Republic | Grenada | Guadeloupe | Haiti | Jamaica | Martinique | Puerto Rico | St. Kitts and Nevis | St. Lucia | St. Vincent and the Grenadines | Trinidad & Tobago | Turks & Caicos Islands | Virgin Islands
Central America: Belize | Costa Rica | El Salvador | Guatemala | Honduras | Mexico | Nicaragua | Panama
South America: Argentina | Bolivia | Brazil | Chile | Colombia | Ecuador | French Guiana | Guyana | Paraguay | Peru | Suriname | Uruguay | Venezuela

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See also: International cooperation | International organizations


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