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Are U.S. low carbon fuel standards driving a structural change in oilseed demand that could support farmland returns?

Overhead view of a road through farmland

Low carbon fuel standards are U.S. state-level programs that seek to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants from transportation fuels. Several fuel sources offer compliance within this scheme, including charging stations for electric vehicles and ethanol. However, one fuel type, renewable diesel, possesses chemical attributes that simplify the switch to low carbon fuel for refiners and motorists alike. In this paper, potential implications for oilseed demand and farm margins stemming from low carbon fuel standards and the expansion of renewable diesel refining capacity are analyzed.

Over the next four years, the U.S. will see renewable diesel refining capacity more than quadruple so that refiners and distributors can achieve compliance and supply low carbon transportation fuel in LCFS states.

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Alternatives Nuveen Natural Capital 2024 Sustainability Report
Nuveen Natural Capital’s 2024 Sustainability Report describes our sustainability activities across Nature, Climate and People in our managed global farmland, timberland and environmental restoration operations.
Alternatives Nuveen Natural Capital - Carbon Market Integrity Principles
Alternatives Investing in biodiversity markets to finance the protection, better management and restoration of nature
Unprecedented global action to address the decline in nature and its causes is underway, and investments in biodiversity will be a critical part of these efforts.
This material is not intended to be a recommendation or investment advice, does not constitute a solicitation to buy, sell or hold a security or an investment strategy, and is not provided in a fiduciary capacity. The information provided does not take into account the specific objectives or circumstances of any particular investor, or suggest any specific course of action. Investment decisions should be made based on an investor’s objectives and circumstances and in consultation with his or her advisors. The views and opinions expressed are for informational and educational purposes only as of the date of production/writing and may change without notice at any time based on factors such as market conditions or legal and regulatory developments. All information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy is not guaranteed. This material may contain “forward-looking” information that is not purely historical in nature. Such information may include, among other things, projections, forecasts, estimates of market returns, and proposed or expected portfolio composition. Any changes to assumptions made in preparing this material could have a material impact on the information presented herein. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investing involves risk; principal loss is possible. This information does not constitute investment research as defined under MiFID. All information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy is not guaranteed. There is no representation or warranty as to the current accuracy, reliability or completeness of, nor liability for, decisions based on such information and it should not be relied on as such.

A word on risk
As an asset class, agricultural investments are less developed, more illiquid, and less transparent compared to traditional asset classes. Agricultural investments will be subject to risks generally associated with the ownership of real estate-related assets, including changes in economic conditions, environmental risks, the cost of and ability to obtain insurance, and risks related to leasing of properties. Nuveen provides investment advisory solutions through its investment specialists.
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