Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 554342
Title Reconciling global sustainability targets and local action for food production and climate change mitigation
Author(s) Gil, Juliana D.B.; Daioglou, Vassilis; Ittersum, Martin van; Reidsma, Pytrik; Doelman, Jonathan C.; Middelaar, Corina E. van; Vuuren, Detlef P. van
Source Global environmental change : human and policy dimensions 59 (2019). - ISSN 0959-3780
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2019.101983
Department(s) Plant Production Systems
PE&RC
International Policy
Animal Production Systems
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019
Keyword(s) Agriculture - Cross-scale analysis - Scenario analysis - Sustainable Development Goals - Trade-offs
Abstract

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) imply country-led implementation. Yet, their achievement depends on sustainability targets compatible across different sectors and scales. Our study examines how the GHG emission intensity of agriculture (EIA) should evolve globally, regionally (Western Europe) and nationally (The Netherlands) under different socioeconomic pathways, so that two major aims of SDGs 2 and 13 (i.e. sufficient food production and climate change mitigation) are achieved simultaneously. Results show that, by 2050, relative to 2010 values, EIA should decrease at all three levels when measured on a product basis (GHG emissions per ton dry matter) and on a land basis (GHG emissions per ha). This indicates that, globally, agriculture should be intensified per unit area, while in Western Europe and even more so in the Netherlands additional emission reductions require increased production efficiency and lower production volumes. Projected reductions in methane and nitrous oxide emissions from enteric fermentation, manure management and fertilizer application in Dutch agriculture are much higher than what would be achieved through the extrapolation of current trends. Given the high costs of increasing production efficiency further, our analysis indicates the need for significantly more ambitious policy targets and systemic changes, including reduced consumption of animal-sourced food. Besides shedding light on the interaction between climate and agricultural strategies, our analysis illustrates the application of cross-scale thinking in the operationalization of the SDG agenda and underscores the need for concerted action amongst countries.

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