Traditional biomass remains the dominant contributor to the energy supply of a large number of developing countries, where it serves the household energy needs of over a third of humanity in traditional cookstoves or open fires. Efforts to reduce the enormous human health, socioeconomic, and environmental impacts by shifting to cleaner cookstoves and cleaner biomass-derived fuels have had some success, but much more needs to be done, possibly including the expanded use of fossil-derived fuels. Concurrently, biomass is rapidly expanding as a commercial energy source, especially for transport fuels. Bioenergy can positively contribute to climate goals and rural livelihoods; however, if not implemented carefully, it could exacerbate degradation of land, water bodies, and ecosystems; reduce food security; and increase greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. For large-scale commercial biofuels to contribute to sustainable development will require agriculturally sustainable methods and markets that provide enhanced livelihood opportunities and equitable terms of trade. The challenge lies in translating the opportunity into reality.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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