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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    The climate change mitigation potential of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage
    Hanssen, S.V. ; Daioglou, V. ; Steinmann, Z.J.N. ; Doelman, J.C. ; Vuuren, D.P. Van; Huijbregts, M.A.J. - \ 2020
    Nature Climate Change (2020). - ISSN 1758-678X

    Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) can act as a negative emission technology and is considered crucial in many climate change mitigation pathways that limit global warming to 1.5–2 °C; however, the negative emission potential of BECCS has not been rigorously assessed. Here we perform a global spatially explicit analysis of life-cycle GHG emissions for lignocellulosic crop-based BECCS. We show that negative emissions greatly depend on biomass cultivation location, treatment of original vegetation, the final energy carrier produced and the evaluation period considered. We find a global potential of 28 EJ per year for electricity with negative emissions, sequestering 2.5 GtCO2 per year when accounting emissions over 30 years, which increases to 220 EJ per year and 40 GtCO2 per year over 80 years. We show that BECCS sequestration projected in IPCC SR1.5 °C pathways can be approached biophysically; however, considering its potentially very large land requirements, we suggest substantially limited and earlier deployment.

    Progress and barriers in understanding and preventing indirect land-use change
    Daioglou, Vassilis ; Woltjer, Geert ; Strengers, Bart ; Elbersen, Berien ; Barberena Ibañez, Goizeder ; Sánchez Gonzalez, David ; Gil Barno, Javier ; Vuuren, Detlef P. van - \ 2020
    Biofuels Bioproducts and Biorefining 14 (2020)5. - ISSN 1932-104X - p. 924 - 934.
    agriculture - bioenergy - biofuels - climate change mitigation - indirect land-use change - modeling

    Climate change mitigation pathways have highlighted both the critical role of land-use emissions, and the potential use of biofuels as a low-emission energy carrier. This has led to concerns about the emission mitigation potential of biofuels, particularly related to indirect land-use change (ILUC). This arises when the production of biofuels displaces the production of land-based products elsewhere, either directly or via changes in crop prices, leading to indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We review a large body of literature that has emerged on ILUC assessment and quantification, highlighting the methodologies employed, the resultant emission factors, modeled dynamics driving ILUC, and the uncertainty therein. Our review reveals that improvements in ILUC assessment methods have failed to reduce uncertainty and increase confidence in ILUC factors, instead making marginal improvements to economic models. Thus, while assessments have highlighted measures that could reduce ILUC, it is impossible to control or determine the actual ILUC resulting from biofuel production. This makes ILUC a poor guiding principle for land-use and climate policy, and does not help with the determination of the GHG performance of biofuels. Instead climate and land-use policy should focus on more integrated protection of terrestrial resources, covering all land-use-related products.

    Afforestation for climate change mitigation: Potentials, risks and trade-offs
    Doelman, Jonathan C. ; Stehfest, Elke ; Vuuren, Detlef P. van; Tabeau, Andrzej ; Hof, Andries F. ; Braakhekke, Maarten C. ; Gernaat, David E.H.J. ; Berg, Maarten van den; Zeist, Willem Jan van; Daioglou, Vassilis ; Meijl, Hans van; Lucas, Paul L. - \ 2020
    Global Change Biology 26 (2020)3. - ISSN 1354-1013 - p. 1576 - 1591.
    afforestation - climate change mitigation - food security - integrated assessment - land-based mitigation - negative emissions

    Afforestation is considered a cost-effective and readily available climate change mitigation option. In recent studies afforestation is presented as a major solution to limit climate change. However, estimates of afforestation potential vary widely. Moreover, the risks in global mitigation policy and the negative trade-offs with food security are often not considered. Here we present a new approach to assess the economic potential of afforestation with the IMAGE 3.0 integrated assessment model framework. In addition, we discuss the role of afforestation in mitigation pathways and the effects of afforestation on the food system under increasingly ambitious climate targets. We show that afforestation has a mitigation potential of 4.9 GtCO2/year at 200 US$/tCO2 in 2050 leading to large-scale application in an SSP2 scenario aiming for 2°C (410 GtCO2 cumulative up to 2100). Afforestation reduces the overall costs of mitigation policy. However, it may lead to lower mitigation ambition and lock-in situations in other sectors. Moreover, it bears risks to implementation and permanence as the negative emissions are increasingly located in regions with high investment risks and weak governance, for example in Sub-Saharan Africa. Afforestation also requires large amounts of land (up to 1,100 Mha) leading to large reductions in agricultural land. The increased competition for land could lead to higher food prices and an increased population at risk of hunger. Our results confirm that afforestation has substantial potential for mitigation. At the same time, we highlight that major risks and trade-offs are involved. Pathways aiming to limit climate change to 2°C or even 1.5°C need to minimize these risks and trade-offs in order to achieve mitigation sustainably.

    Reconciling global sustainability targets and local action for food production and climate change mitigation
    Gil, Juliana D.B. ; Daioglou, Vassilis ; Ittersum, Martin van; Reidsma, Pytrik ; Doelman, Jonathan C. ; Middelaar, Corina E. van; Vuuren, Detlef P. van - \ 2019
    Global environmental change : human and policy dimensions 59 (2019). - ISSN 0959-3780
    Agriculture - Cross-scale analysis - Scenario analysis - Sustainable Development Goals - Trade-offs

    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.

    Reconciling global sustainability targets and regional action for food security and climate change mitigation
    Reidsma, P. ; Dias Bernardes Gil, Juliana ; Daioglou, Vassilis ; Ittersum, M.K. van; Vuuren, D. van - \ 2018
    Part of afternoon work session Routekaart voor een SDG-proof voedselsysteem
    Reconciling global sustainability targets and regional action for food security and climate change mitigation
    Dias Bernardes Gil, Juliana ; Daioglou, V. ; Ittersum, M.K. van; Reidsma, P. ; Vuuren, D. van - \ 2018
    Reconciling global sustainability targets and regional action for food security and climate change mitigation
    Dias Bernardes Gil, Juliana ; Daioglou, V. ; Ittersum, M.K. van; Reidsma, P. ; Vuuren, D. van - \ 2018
    - 1 p.
    The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) imply country-led implementation, however their success depends on the reconciliation of sustainability targets across different sectors and scales. Ensuring consistency between climate mitigation efforts and national agricultural policies is no trivial task and may involve significant trade-offs. 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 the major aims of SDG-2 (i.e. food security) and SDG-13 (i.e. 2oC climate mitigation target) are achieved simultaneously. Results show that, by 2050, relative to 2010 values, EIA should decrease at all three levels –both when measured on a land basis (MtCO2eq/ha) and on a product basis (MtCO2eq/tonDM). Concerning the Dutch agricultural sector, the comparison of current and projected CH4 and N2O emission levels related to enteric fermentation, manure management and agricultural soils reveals the need for significantly more ambitious policy targets. Over 2010-30, assuming that food production remains constant, our model indicates that Dutch agricultural GHG emissions must decrease by 26% in absolute terms and 28% in EIA-product terms; however, the extrapolation of today’s trends may ensure a reduction of no more than 5% and 8%, respectively. 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 constitutes a step forward in bridging bottom-up and top-down research
    Tradeoffs in the quest for climate smart agricultural intensification in Mato Grosso, Brazil
    Gil, Juliana D.B. ; Garrett, Rachael D. ; Rotz, Alan ; Daioglou, Vassilis ; Valentim, Judson ; Pires, Gabrielle F. ; Costa, Marcos H. ; Lopes, Luciano ; Reis, Julio C. - \ 2018
    Environmental Research Letters 13 (2018)6. - ISSN 1748-9318
    climate scenarios - integrated crop-livestock systems - low carbon agriculture - pasture intensification - sustainability

    Low productivity cattle ranching, with its linkages to rural poverty, deforestation and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, remains one of the largest sustainability challenges in Brazil and has impacts worldwide. There is a nearly universal call to intensify extensive beef cattle production systems to spare land for crop production and nature and to meet Brazil's Intended Nationally Determined Contribution to reducing global climate change. However, different interventions aimed at the intensification of livestock systems in Brazil may involve substantial social and environmental tradeoffs. Here we examine these tradeoffs using a whole-farm model calibrated for the Brazilian agricultural frontier state of Mato Grosso, one of the largest soybean and beef cattle production regions in the world. Specifically, we compare the costs and benefits of a typical extensive, continuously grazed cattle system relative to a specialized soybean production system and two improved cattle management strategies (rotational grazing and integrated soybean-cattle) under different climate scenarios. We found clear tradeoffs in GHG and nitrogen emissions, climate resilience, and water and energy use across these systems. Relative to continuously grazed or rotationally grazed cattle systems, the integreated soybean-cattle system showed higher food production and lower GHG emissions per unit of human digestible protein, as well as increased resilience under climate change (both in terms of productivity and financial returns). All systems suffered productivity and profitability losses under severe climate change, highlighting the need for climate smart agricultural development strategies in the region. By underscoring the economic feasibility of improving the performance of cattle systems, and by quantifying the tradeoffs of each option, our results are useful for directing agricultural and climate policy.

    Exploring SSP land-use dynamics using the IMAGE model : Regional and gridded scenarios of land-use change and land-based climate change mitigation
    Doelman, Jonathan C. ; Stehfest, Elke ; Tabeau, Andrzej ; Meijl, Hans van; Lassaletta, Luis ; Gernaat, David E.H.J. ; Neumann-Hermans, Kathleen ; Harmsen, Mathijs ; Daioglou, Vassilis ; Biemans, Hester ; Sluis, Sietske van der; Vuuren, Detlef P. van - \ 2018
    Global environmental change : human and policy dimensions 48 (2018). - ISSN 0959-3780 - p. 119 - 135.
    Bioenergy - Climate change mitigation - Integrated assessment - Land-use change - REDD - Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSPs)
    Projected increases in population, income and consumption rates are expected to lead to rising pressure on the land system. Ambitions to limit global warming to 2 °C or even 1.5 °C could also lead to additional pressures from land-based mitigation measures such as bioenergy production and afforestation. To investigate these dynamics, this paper describes five elaborations of the Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSP) using the IMAGE 3.0 integrated assessment model framework to produce regional and gridded scenarios up to the year 2100. Additionally, land-based climate change mitigation is modelled aiming for long-term mitigation targets including 1.5 °C. Results show diverging global trends in agricultural land in the baseline scenarios ranging from an expansion of nearly 826 Mha in SSP3 to a decrease of more than 305 Mha in SSP1 for the period 2010–2050. Key drivers are population growth, changes in food consumption, and agricultural efficiency. The largest changes take place in Sub-Saharan Africa in SSP3 and SSP4, predominantly due to high population growth. With low increases in agricultural efficiency this leads to expansion of agricultural land and reduced food security. Land use also plays a crucial role in ambitious mitigation scenarios. First, agricultural emissions could form a substantial component of emissions that cannot be fully mitigated. Second, bioenergy and reforestation are crucial to create net negative emissions reducing emissions in SSP2 in 2050 by 8.7 Gt CO2/yr and 1.9 Gt CO2/yr, respectively (1.5 °C scenario compared to baseline). This is achieved by expansion of bioenergy area (516 Mha in 2050) and reforestation. Expansion of agriculture for food production is reduced due to REDD policy (290 Mha in 2050) affecting food security especially in Sub-Saharan Africa indicating an important trade-off of land-based mitigation. This set of SSP land-use scenarios provides a comprehensive quantification of interacting trends in the land system, both socio-economic and biophysical. By providing high resolution data, the scenario output can improve interactions between climate research and impact studies.
    Study Report on Reporting Requirements on Biofuels and Bioliquids stemming from the Directive (EU) 2015/1513
    Woltjer, Geert ; Daioglou, Vassilis ; Elbersen, Berien ; Barberena Ibañez, Goizeder ; Smeets, Edward ; Sánchez González, David ; Gil Barnó, Javier - \ 2017
    Brussels : European Commission - 124
    Managing LUC‐induced GHG emissions and price impacts from bioenergy under different scenarios
    Levin-Koopman, Jason ; Meijl, J.C.M. van; Smeets, E.M.W. ; Tabeau, A.A. ; Faaij, A. ; Stehfest, Elke ; Vuuren, Detlef P. van; Daioglou, Vassilis ; Gerssen-Gondelach, S. ; Wicke, Birka - \ 2017
    Energy, land-use and greenhouse gas emissions trajectories under a green growth paradigm
    Vuuren, Detlef P. van; Stehfest, Elke ; Gernaat, David E.H.J. ; Doelman, Jonathan C. ; Berg, Maarten van den; Harmsen, Mathijs ; Boer, Harmen Sytze de; Bouwman, Lex F. ; Daioglou, Vassilis ; Edelenbosch, Oreane Y. ; Girod, Bastien ; Kram, Tom ; Lassaletta, Luis ; Lucas, Paul L. ; Meijl, Hans van; Müller, Christoph ; Ruijven, Bas J. van; Sluis, Sietske van der; Tabeau, Andrzej - \ 2017
    Global environmental change : human and policy dimensions 42 (2017). - ISSN 0959-3780 - p. 237 - 250.
    Climate change research - Integrated assessment - Scenarios - Shared Socio-economic Pathways (SSPs) - Sustainable development

    This paper describes the possible developments in global energy use and production, land use, emissions and climate changes following the SSP1 storyline, a development consistent with the green growth (or sustainable development) paradigm (a more inclusive development respecting environmental boundaries). The results are based on the implementation using the IMAGE 3.0 integrated assessment model and are compared with a) other IMAGE implementations of the SSPs (SSP2 and SSP3) and b) the SSP1 implementation of other integrated assessment models. The results show that a combination of resource efficiency, preferences for sustainable production methods and investment in human development could lead to a strong transition towards a more renewable energy supply, less land use and lower anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions in 2100 than in 2010, even in the absence of explicit climate policies. At the same time, climate policy would still be needed to reduce emissions further, in order to reduce the projected increase of global mean temperature from 3 °C (SSP1 reference scenario) to 2 or 1.5 °C (in line with current policy targets). The SSP1 storyline could be a basis for further discussions on how climate policy can be combined with achieving other societal goals.

    Model collaboration for the improved assessment of biomass supply, demand, and impacts
    Wicke, B. ; Hilst, F. van der; Daioglou, V. ; Banse, M. ; Beringer, T. ; Gerssen-Gondelach, S. ; Heijnen, S. ; Karssenberg, D. ; Laborde, D. ; Lippe, M. ; Meijl, H. van; Nassar, A. ; Powell, J.P. ; Prins, A.G. ; Rose, S.N.K. ; Smeets, E.M.W. ; Stehfest, E. ; Tyner, W.E. ; Verstegen, J.A. ; Valin, H. ; Vuuren, D.P. van; Yeh, S. ; Faaij, A.P.C. - \ 2015
    Global change biology Bioenergy 7 (2015)3. - ISSN 1757-1693 - p. 422 - 437.
    land-use change - global agricultural markets - greenhouse-gas emissions - eu biofuel policies - bioenergy production - united-states - energy crops - trade-offs - bio-energy - ethanol
    Existing assessments of biomass supply and demand and their impacts face various types of limitations and uncertainties, partly due to the type of tools and methods applied (e.g., partial representation of sectors, lack of geographical details, and aggregated representation of technologies involved). Improved collaboration between existing modeling approaches may provide new, more comprehensive insights, especially into issues that involve multiple economic sectors, different temporal and spatial scales, or various impact categories. Model collaboration consists of aligning and harmonizing input data and scenarios, model comparison and/or model linkage. Improved collaboration between existing modeling approaches can help assess (i) the causes of differences and similarities in model output, which is important for interpreting the results for policy-making and (ii) the linkages, feedbacks, and trade-offs between different systems and impacts (e.g., economic and natural), which is key to a more comprehensive understanding of the impacts of biomass supply and demand. But, full consistency or integration in assumptions, structure, solution algorithms, dynamics and feedbacks can be difficult to achieve. And, if it is done, it frequently implies a trade-off in terms of resolution (spatial, temporal, and structural) and/or computation. Three key research areas are selected to illustrate how model collaboration can provide additional ways for tackling some of the shortcomings and uncertainties in the assessment of biomass supply and demand and their impacts. These research areas are livestock production, agricultural residues, and greenhouse gas emissions from land-use change. Describing how model collaboration might look like in these examples, we show how improved model collaboration can strengthen our ability to project biomass supply, demand, and impacts. This in turn can aid in improving the information for policy-makers and in taking better-informed decisions.
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