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
COP24 report: The vital role of land use in climate mitigation

With the carbon costs of travel in mind, key...

COP24 report: The vital role of land use in climate mitigation
In The News
COP24: Distributed ledger technology could help enact Paris Agreement

With the carbon costs of travel in mind, key...

COP24: Distributed ledger technology could help enact Paris Agreement
Opinion
System innovation is needed to help regions shift to a low-carbon economy
System innovation is needed to help regions shift to a low-carbon economy
In The News
COP24: Social innovation to drive just transition of coal regions

With the carbon costs of travel in mind, key...

COP24: Social innovation to drive just transition of coal regions
In Detail
DLT for climate action assessment

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT Over the past decade, we’ve witnessed a myriad of milestones that have put the vision of a prosperous, climate-resilient society on...

DLT for climate action assessment
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC’s ConnectedClusters launches at EUROCITIES

EIT Climate-KIC’s ConnectedClusters project—which aims to accelerate innovation clusters...

EIT Climate-KIC’s ConnectedClusters launches at EUROCITIES
Opinion
St. Patrick is on a Mission – #MissionFinance 1.5 C
Sandra Vlašić, Partnerships, Resources and Stories Terra Hub
St. Patrick is on a Mission – #MissionFinance 1.5 C
In our community
EIT Climate-KIC to showcase its top 30 cleantech startups during Slush 2018
EIT Climate-KIC to showcase its top 30 cleantech startups during Slush 2018
In The News
How to unlock the finance needed for integrated landscape approaches

Why integrated landscape approaches matter and how to unlock...

How to unlock the finance needed for integrated landscape approaches
In The News
Regional Innovation Scheme start-ups showcase cleantech achievements supported...

Last month (October 2018) in Vienna, Austria, 32 start-ups...

Regional Innovation Scheme start-ups showcase cleantech achievements supported by EIT Climate-KIC
In The News
City Finance Lab explores new advisory services to catalyse investment in sust...

With the carbon costs of travel in mind, Climate...

City Finance Lab explores new advisory services to catalyse investment in sustainable cities
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC responds to consultation on Long-Term Strategy for EU GHG emis...

As an active member of the community working to...

EIT Climate-KIC responds to consultation on Long-Term Strategy for EU GHG emissions reduction
Opinion
Distributed ledger technologies are here to stay
Dr. Harald Rauter Regional Innovation Lead, Climate-KIC
Distributed ledger technologies are here to stay
In The News
Search for 100 1.5C-compatible investments launched

The EU-backed Mission Innovation initiative has launched a framework...

Search for 100 1.5C-compatible investments launched
In The News
Can self-reporting be effective for investors?

Most climate and ESG data is self-reported – can...

Can self-reporting be effective for investors?
In The News
Risky business: Why 1.5C-aligned strategies are key to preserving capital

Decision-makers with responsibility for capital need to make bold,...

Risky business: Why 1.5C-aligned strategies are key to preserving capital
In The News
No alternative: Making sustainable infrastructure the only option

Only a fraction of global climate finance is reaching...

No alternative: Making sustainable infrastructure the only option
In The News
Could ambitious financial regulation be a key driver of climate action?

With the carbon costs of travel in mind, Climate...

Could ambitious financial regulation be a key driver of climate action?
In The News
Bridging the climate adaptation investment gap

Financing climate adaptation took centre-stage at Day 2 of...

Bridging the climate adaptation investment gap
In Detail
Techno-economic assessment and life cycle assessment guidelines for CO2 util...

CO2 utilisation technologies, also known as carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) or CO2 re-use, capture CO2 and convert it into new products or services....

Techno-economic assessment and life cycle assessment guidelines for CO2 utilisation
In The News
Re-Industrialise launches at the European Week of Cities and Regions

EIT Climate-KIC and partners recently launched the Re-Industrialise programme,...

Re-Industrialise launches at the European Week of Cities and Regions
In Detail
Reframing our current approach to urban transformations

EIT Climate-KIC gathered the outputs and lessons-learned from an urban transformations community workshop in Malaga, which saw more than 100 city leaders and teams...

Reframing our current approach to urban transformations
Opinion
Reframing perspectives on climate change
Reframing perspectives on climate change
Opinion
Only 20 companies in the world provide 100 per cent greenhouse gas emissions disclosure – Are ...
Only 20 companies in the world provide 100 per cent greenhouse gas emissions disclosure – Are investors in the dark on climate risks?
In The News
Gaining a better understanding of climate risk

The roadblocks that stand in the way of companies...

Gaining a better understanding of climate risk
In The News
The power of persuasion: Great Debate changes audience’s mind on self-re...

With the carbon costs of travel in mind, Climate...

The power of persuasion: Great Debate changes audience’s mind on self-reporting
In The News
A masterclass on climate-related financial disclosure

If we want to keep on track with the...

A masterclass on climate-related financial disclosure
In The News
Transforming financial sector’s core value system may be essential to 1.5C

With the carbon costs of travel in mind, Climate...

Transforming financial sector’s core value system may be essential to 1.5C
In The News
Curbing carbon emissions in company value chains

Most of the world’s largest companies account and report...

Curbing carbon emissions in company value chains
In The News
One hundred 1.5C compatible investments by 2030

New investor framework launched today at European Climate Innovation...

One hundred 1.5C compatible investments by 2030