EU land use futures: modelling food, bioenergy and carbon dynamics
Energy Strategy, 2020
Alexandre Strapasson, Jeremy Woods, Jerome Meessen, Onesmus Mwabonje, Gino Baudry and Kofi Mbuk
This paper presents an original system dynamics model, which aims to assess how changes in diet, agricultural practices, bioenergy and forestry could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We demonstrate that changes in types and quantities of food consumed and reductions in food wastes along with sustainable bioenergy and forestry dynamics would materially assist the EU in meeting its 2050 climate mitigation obligations. We find that overall rates of EU-28 greenhouse gas emissions are highly sensitive to the food trade balance, both within and outside the EU. Land use itself is often under-represented as a major option for carbon mitigation in policy strategies, but our results show that it must become a central component aligned with energy system decarbonization if material levels of warming mitigation are to be achieved.