HomeEnvironmentConservationEU climate plan sacrifices carbon storage and biodiversity for bioenergy

    EU climate plan sacrifices carbon storage and biodiversity for bioenergy

    Nearly all strategies to meet climate targets or preserve global biodiversity require the world’s agricultural land area to be held at current levels or reduced. More precisely, the world must decrease its ‘land carbon footprint’, which is the quantity of carbon lost from native habitats to supply agricultural products and wood. But rising populations and incomes put the world on track to require 40–60% more crops and 70% more milk and meat in 2050 than in 20101. Even factoring in higher yields, models project that cropland will expand by 100 million to 400 million hectares (Mha) globally over this period1,2. Indeed, remote sensing of recent growth rates3 puts the world’s cropland on track to consume 450 million more hectares over this period, an area 1.5 times the size of India.

    To meet the challenge, countries must do more to maintain or reduce their…

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