Enhanced food system efficiency is the key to China’s 2060 carbon neutrality target

Ren, M., Huang, C., Wu, Y., Deppermann, A., Frank, S. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5702-8547, Havlik, P. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5551-5085, Zhu, Y., Fang, C., et al. (2023). Enhanced food system efficiency is the key to China’s 2060 carbon neutrality target. Nature Food 4 552-564. 10.1038/s43016-023-00790-1.

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Project: Exploring National and Global Actions to reduce Greenhouse gas Emissions (ENGAGE, H2020 821471), Next generation of AdVanced InteGrated Assessment modelling to support climaTE policy making (NAVIGATE, H2020 821124)


Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, among other negative-emission technologies, is required for China to achieve carbon neutrality-yet it may hinder land-based Sustainable Development Goals. Using modelling and scenario analysis, we investigate how to mitigate the potential adverse impacts on the food system of ambitious bioenergy deployment in China and its trading partners. We find that producing bioenergy domestically while sticking to the food self-sufficiency ratio redlines would lower China's daily per capita calorie intake by 8% and increase domestic food prices by 23% by 2060. Removing China's food self-sufficiency ratio restrictions could halve the domestic food dilemma but risks transferring environmental burdens to other countries, whereas halving food loss and waste, shifting to healthier diets and narrowing crop yield gaps could effectively mitigate these external effects. Our results show that simultaneously achieving carbon neutrality, food security and global sustainability requires a careful combination of these measures.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR)
Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR) > Integrated Biosphere Futures (IBF)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2023 11:43
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2024 03:00
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/18886

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