Bioenergy does not threaten food security says International Food Policy Research Institution paper

A recently published research paper on food security establishes that there is no clear relationship between bioenergy produced from crops and higher prices threatening access to food. The paper is an outcome of the 2014 IFPRI* Workshop supported by Climate-KIC, Novozymes, the World Bank and others.

The aim of the 2014 workshop was to understand the relationship between the use of bioenergy and volatility in global as well as local food prices and to explore the current and future interaction between biofuels and food security. This was achieved by project developers, researchers and policy-makers elaborating upon their learnings to date. Contributors to the workshop included Dr. Jeremy Woods from Climate-KIC’s partner Imperial College of London and Senior Advisor, Morten Gylling from the University of Copenhagen.  Dr. Woods was also one of the group of researchers who wrote a paper based on questions raised during the workshop. 

Previous analyses have suggested that the competition for land between crops for food and ones for bioenergy threatens food security. While this argument has been strongly advocated by environmentalists and others, biofuel advocates and oil companies have not shared this sentiment. One of several consequences of that debate has been that buy-in to the U.S.’ bid to reduce dependency on foreign oil and cut greenhouse gas emissions was impeded.

After the workshop, a group of researchers from Sao Paulo State Research Foundation (FAPESP), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the World Bank, the Brazilian National Council for Scientific, Technological Development (CNPq), and Imperial College of London joined forces with the objective of unveiling the realities of the debate.

Their paper acknowledges the rivalry over land, but the researchers argue that a circular approach to production could improve resource management and thus increase food security. Identifying what might otherwise be considered waste from one part of the system, as input for other parts will become easier by a higher degree of integration between the two productions.’

One key message relates to how infrastructure and marketing improvements can make agricultural markets work better, and simultaneously enhance the viability of bioenergy projects. Another major message relates to how flex crops could be promoted that provide food in addition to other valuable co-products or uses that can contribute directly to bioenergy production. 

They conclude by encouraging the application of sustainability guidelines to the production of bioenergy in order to reduce hunger. Designing these guidelines requires a renewed focus on populations at risk and understanding local causes of food insecurity. Bioenergy can in this way contribute to improved food security by increasing the adaptability and resilience of human populations at risk and by reducing context-specific vulnerabilities that could limit access to nutrients in times of crisis.

Read the full research paper here

*IFPRI = International Food Policy Research Institution

 
Location
Related Focus Area
Sustainable Land Use
Articles you may be interested in
In The News
First round of 15 winners of Reinventing Cities competition announced

Teams in Chicago, Madrid, Milan, Oslo, Paris and Reykjavík...

First round of 15 winners of Reinventing Cities competition announced
In The News
Lisbon’s City Finance Lab-backed green participatory budget awarded €5 mil...

Lisbon City Council’s first-ever ‘green’ participatory budget, an initiative...

Lisbon’s City Finance Lab-backed green participatory budget awarded €5 million for next cycle
In The News
WCEF 2019: “The circular economy in cities”

EIT Climate-KIC CEO Kirsten Dunlop emphasised the importance of...

WCEF 2019: “The circular economy in cities”
In Detail
New Report on Circular Procurement in public construction projects shows how...

Public procurement affects a substantial share of world trade, amounting to more than €1.3 trillion per year. In the EU, the public purchase of...

New Report on Circular Procurement in public construction projects shows how targeted action can drive system-level impact
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC at World Circular Economy Forum 2019

EIT Climate-KIC is playing a prominent role at the...

EIT Climate-KIC at World Circular Economy Forum 2019
In The News
17 EIT Climate-KIC solutions included in MI 100 Global High Impact listing

13 EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator start-ups and four EIT Climate-KIC...

17 EIT Climate-KIC solutions included in MI 100 Global High Impact listing
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC’s global cleantech competition ClimateLaunchpad is open ...

EIT Climate-KIC’s ClimateLaunchpad, the world’s largest green business ideas...

EIT Climate-KIC’s global cleantech competition ClimateLaunchpad is open for registration
Opinion
Transformation Capital: A new investment logic for catalysing systems change
Dominic Hofstetter Transformation Capital, EIT Climate-KIC
Transformation Capital: A new investment logic for catalysing systems change
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC supported SkyNRG develops Europe’s first sustainable jet...

SkyNRG announced plans to develop Europe's first sustainable aviation...

EIT Climate-KIC supported SkyNRG develops Europe’s first sustainable jet fuel production plant
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC supported report shows how to reduce industrial CO2 emissions

A new joint report, published by RWTH Aachen University...

EIT Climate-KIC supported report shows how to reduce industrial CO2 emissions
In The News
London event showcases innovation behind new investor climate tool

Yesterday’s event, titled “Applying Climate Risk Data to Investment...

London event showcases innovation behind new investor climate tool
In our community
Interview with Francisco de la Torre, Mayor of Malaga, Spain
Interview with Francisco de la Torre, Mayor of Malaga, Spain
Opinion
Adapting to climate change in Europe: Building a systemic and urgent vision
Susannah Fisher, EIT Climate-KIC and Andrew Norton, IIED
Adapting to climate change in Europe: Building a systemic and urgent vision
In our community
Interview with Andrzej Wiszniewski, President of the Board, National Energy ...
Interview with Andrzej Wiszniewski, President of the Board, National Energy Conservation Agency Poland
In The News
FEED-X programme aims to transform global feed industry

Supported by EIT Climate-KIC, global feed supplier Skretting, WWF...

FEED-X programme aims to transform global feed industry
In The News
New reports say net-zero emission EU heavy industry by 2050 is achievable

Achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 for European energy-intensive industries...

New reports say net-zero emission EU heavy industry by 2050 is achievable
In The News
Five EIT Climate-KIC startups announced as Cleantech Innovate finalists

Five EIT Climate-KIC supported startups are among the 30...

Five EIT Climate-KIC startups announced as Cleantech Innovate finalists
In The News
Drawdown book: Global warming is reversible

Climate protection initiative gives a preview of the German...

Drawdown book: Global warming is reversible
In The News
International effort launched to determine best CO2 capture & utilisation ...

Economic and environmental guidelines will support new industries and...

International effort launched to determine best CO2 capture & utilisation technologies
In Detail
New report cements wood as the future of construction

In a new report, 25 examples of using wood in construction showcase that reducing the carbon footprint of our buildings is not only possible,...

New report cements wood as the future of construction
In The News
Transatlantic bridge for European innovation: EIT Community opens its first Hu...

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) opened...

Transatlantic bridge for European innovation: EIT Community opens its first Hub in Silicon Valley
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC supported Beyond Ratings registered as credit rating agency by...

EIT Climate-KIC supported firm Beyond Ratings, a financial services...

EIT Climate-KIC supported Beyond Ratings registered as credit rating agency by European Securities and Markets Authority
In our community
Interview with Nico Wolf, CFO, Endless Energy – Winner of the EIT Climate-...
Interview with Nico Wolf, CFO, Endless Energy – Winner of the EIT Climate-KIC Finance Incubator Competition
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC supported Ombrea raises €1 million to commercialise its smar...

EIT Climate-KIC supported start-up Ombrea, which offers a tool...

EIT Climate-KIC supported Ombrea raises €1 million to commercialise its smart agriculture system
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC announces partnership with Silicon Valley innovation hub

EIT Climate-KIC has announced its partnership with cleantech innovation...

EIT Climate-KIC announces partnership with Silicon Valley innovation hub
In The News
Eight EIT Climate-KIC innovators in prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe List...

In the last four years, the EIT Community has...

Eight EIT Climate-KIC innovators in prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe List 2019
In The News
Bill Gates lists EIT Climate-KIC’s Climeworks on 2019 Breakthrough Techn...

Bill Gates was invited to be the first guest...

Bill Gates lists EIT Climate-KIC’s Climeworks on 2019 Breakthrough Technologies list
Innovation Spotlight
AI and robotics could revolutionise municipal waste sorting

Ferrovial, a leading infrastructure operators and municipal services company, and EIT Climate-KIC partner, is collaborating with start-up...

AI and robotics could revolutionise municipal waste sorting
In Detail
Accelerating the transition to a circular economy

A new report, “Accelerating the transition to a circular economy: Improving access to finance for circular economy projects,” provides key recommendations to drive increased...

Accelerating the transition to a circular economy
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC launches ‘Call to Action’

This week, EIT Climate-KIC launched its call for proposals....

EIT Climate-KIC launches ‘Call to Action’