NewEnergyNews: A Climate Crisis Choice Worth Wrestling With

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    Friday, July 19, 2019

    A Climate Crisis Choice Worth Wrestling With

    Leaked UN science report warns of clash between bioenergy and food; Models suggest large areas of land are needed for forests and biofuel crops to halt climate change, but this risks worsening hunger, draft tells policymakers

    Natalie Sauer, 17 July 2019 (Climate Home News)

    “Blanketing the globe with monocultures of forests and bioenergy crops is no dream fix to the climate crisis. Models suggest large areas of land are needed to draw carbon dioxide out of the air to limit global warming to 1.5C, the most ambitious target in the Paris Agreement…[But a leaked draft report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)] warns this risks worsening hunger by competing with food production for space…Intensifying the production of bioenergy crops through the use of fertilisers, irrigation and monocultures could also erode soil and its capacity to soak up carbon in the long run…[Modern bioenergy could be an overlooked giant of renewables and is expected to] outpace solar, wind and hydropower in the next five years…

    [But] converting land to bioenergy production could deprive countries of valuable agricultural soil and displace crops and livestock to less productive regions. Populations most at risk of food insecurity were sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia…To minimise the conflict, scientists advised governments to limit the scale of bioenergy…[and] to protect and restore ecosystems known for their capacity to absorb carbon, including grasslands, peatlands and coastal wetlands, which affect smaller areas…On the food production side, [a shift sustainable farming that cuts waste and a shift to lower meat diets can also help to alleviate pressure on land…The current food system is responsible for over half of human-caused methane emissions and 25-30% of total greenhouse gas emissions…” click here for more

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