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Biofuels and Food Security: Implications of an accelerated biofuels production

Author: Günther Fischer, Eva Hizsnyik, Sylvia Prieler et. al
Organisation: International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis IIASA
Publish Date: March 2009
Country: Global
Sector: Agriculture
Method: Forecasting
Theme: Biotechnology
Type: Report
Language: English
Tags: Biofuels, Biofuel production, Food supplies, Food security, Sustainability, Sustainable development goals

Biofuels development has received increased attention in recent times as a means to mitigate climate change, alleviate global energy concerns and foster rural development. Its perceived importance in these three areas has seen biofuels feature prominently on the international agenda. Nevertheless, the rapid growth of biofuels production has raised many concerns among experts worldwide, in particular with regard to sustainability issues and the threat posed to food security. The UN Secretary General, in his opening remarks to the High-level Segment of the 16th session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, stated that: “We need to ensure that policies promoting biofuels are consistent with maintaining food security and achieving sustainable development goals”. Aware of a lack of integrated scientific analysis, OFID has commissioned this study, Biofuels and Food Security: Implications of an accelerated biofuels production, which has been prepared by the renowned International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). This seminal research work assesses the impact on developing countries of wide-scale production and use of biofuels, in terms of both sustainable agriculture and food security. The unique feature of this study is that its quantified findings are derived from a scenario approach based on a peer reviewed modelling framework, which has contributed to the work of many scientific fora such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and the United Nations (Climate Change and Agricultural Vulnerability, World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg).
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