How much land-based greenhouse gas mitigation can be achieved without compromising food security and environmental goals?
Journal article, 2013

Feeding 9-10billion people by 2050 and preventing dangerous climate change are two of the greatest challenges facing humanity. Both challenges must be met while reducing the impact of land management on ecosystem services that deliver vital goods and services, and support human health and well-being. Few studies to date have considered the interactions between these challenges. In this study we briefly outline the challenges, review the supply- and demand-side climate mitigation potential available in the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use AFOLU sector and options for delivering food security. We briefly outline some of the synergies and trade-offs afforded by mitigation practices, before presenting an assessment of the mitigation potential possible in the AFOLU sector under possible future scenarios in which demand-side measures codeliver to aid food security. We conclude that while supply-side mitigation measures, such as changes in land management, might either enhance or negatively impact food security, demand-side mitigation measures, such as reduced waste or demand for livestock products, should benefit both food security and greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation. Demand-side measures offer a greater potential (1.5-15.6Gt CO2-eq. yr(-1)) in meeting both challenges than do supply-side measures (1.5-4.3Gt CO2-eq. yr(-1) at carbon prices between 20 and 100US$ tCO(2)-eq. yr(-1)), but given the enormity of challenges, all options need to be considered. Supply-side measures should be implemented immediately, focussing on those that allow the production of more agricultural product per unit of input. For demand-side measures, given the difficulties in their implementation and lag in their effectiveness, policy should be introduced quickly, and should aim to codeliver to other policy agenda, such as improving environmental quality or improving dietary health. These problems facing humanity in the 21st Century are extremely challenging, and policy that addresses multiple objectives is required now more than ever.







food security






ecosystem services







P. Smith

University of Aberdeen

H. Haberl

Alpen-Adria Universitaet (AAU)

A. Popp

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

K. H. Erb

Alpen-Adria Universitaet (AAU)

C. Lauk

Alpen-Adria Universitaet (AAU)

R. Harper

Murdoch University

F. N. Tubiello

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

A. D. Pinto

University of Brasilia

M. Jafari

Research Institute of Forests and Rangelands, Tehran

S. Sohi

University of Edinburgh

O. Masera

Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

H. Bottcher

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

Göran Berndes

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Physical Resource Theory

M. Bustamante

University of Brasilia

H. Ahammad

Australian Government

H. Clark

AgResearch Grasslands Research Centre

H. M. Dong

Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences

E. A. Elsiddig

Khartoum University

C. Mbow

World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)

N. H. Ravindranath

Indian Institute of Science

C. W. Rice

Kansas State University

C. Robledo-Abad

Institute for Environmental Decisions

Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation

A. Romanovskaya

Institute of Global Climate and Ecology

F. Sperling

African Development Bank Tunis

M. Herrero

International Livestock Research Institute Nairobi

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

J. I. House

University of Bristol

S. Rose

Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

Global Change Biology

1354-1013 (ISSN) 1365-2486 (eISSN)

Vol. 19 8 2285-2302

Subject Categories

Earth and Related Environmental Sciences



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9/6/2018 1