How can climate change and the development of bioenergy alter the long-term outlook for food and agriculture

Fischer G (2011). How can climate change and the development of bioenergy alter the long-term outlook for food and agriculture. In: Looking Ahead in World Food and Agriculture: Perspectives to 2050. Eds. Conforti, P, Rome: FAO.

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Abstract

Accumulating scientific evidence has alerted international and national awareness to the urgent need to mitigate climate change. Meanwhile, increasing and reoccurring extreme weather events devastate more and more harvests and livelihoods around the world.

Biofuels development has recently received increased attention as a means to mitigate climate change, alleviate global energy concerns and foster rural development. Its perceived importance in these three areas has made biofuels feature prominently on the international agenda. Nevertheless, the rapid growth of biofuel production has raised many concerns among experts worldwide, particularly regarding sustainability issues and the threat posed to food security.

As recent events have shown, a number of factors - including the adoption of mandatory biofuel policies, high crude oil prices, increasing global food import demand, below average harvests in some countries and low levels of world food stocks - have resulted in sudden and substantial increases in world food prices. The consequences have been food riots around the world, from Mexico and Haiti to Mauritania, Egypt and Bangladesh. Estimates indicate that high food prices increased the number of food-insecure people by about 100 million.

This chapter presents an integrated agro-ecological and socio-economic spatial global assessment of the interlinkages among emerging biofuel developments, food security and climate change. Its purpose is to quantify the extent to which climate change and expansion of biofuel production may alter the long-term outlook for food, agriculture and resource availability, based on work by FAO in its "World agriculture towards 2030/2050" assessment.

The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) has developed a modelling framework and models to analyse the world food and agriculture system spatially and to evaluate the impacts and implications of agricultural policies. The modelling framework has recently been extended and adapted to incorporate biofuel development issues.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Modeling Land-Use and Land-Cover Changes (LUC)
Bibliographic Reference: In: P Conforti (ed.); Looking Ahead in World Food and Agriculture: Perspectives to 2050; FAO, Rome, Italy pp.95-155
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:45
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2016 16:46
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/9674

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