Tackling food consumption inequality to fight hunger without pressuring the environment

Hasegawa T, Havlik P, Frank S ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5702-8547, Palazzo A ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8167-9403, & Valin H ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0618-773X (2019). Tackling food consumption inequality to fight hunger without pressuring the environment. Nature Sustainability 2: 826-833. DOI:10.1038/s41893-019-0371-6.

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Abstract

Ending hunger is a Sustainable Development Goal of the UN. However, feeding a growing world population by increasing food production without implementing more sustainable consumption will threaten the environment. We explore alternative hunger eradication scenarios that do not compromise environmental protection. We find that an economy-growth-oriented scenario, which ignores inequitable food distribution and is aimed at ending hunger by increasing overall food availability, would require about 20% more food production, 48 Mha of additional agricultural land and would increase greenhouse gas emissions by 550 Mt of CO2 equivalents yr−1 in 2030, compared with the business-as-usual scenario. If hunger eradication efforts were focused solely on the under-nourished, food demand would increase by only 3%, and the associated environmental trade-offs would be largely reduced. Moreover, a combined scenario that targets the under-nourished while also reducing over-consumption, food waste, agricultural intensification and other environmental impacts would reduce food demand by 9% compared with the business-as-usual scenario and would lead to the multiple benefits of reducing hunger and contributing to environmental sustainability.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2019 15:03
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2019 05:55
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/16066

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