Risk of increased food insecurity under stringent global climate change mitigation policy

Tomoko Hasegawa*, Shinichiro Fujimori, Petr Havlík, Hugo Valin, Benjamin Leon Bodirsky, Jonathan C. Doelman, Thomas Fellmann, Page Kyle, Jason F.L. Koopman, Hermann Lotze-Campen, Daniel Mason-D’Croz, Yuki Ochi, Ignacio Pérez Domínguez, Elke Stehfest, Timothy B. Sulser, Andrzej Tabeau, Kiyoshi Takahashi, J. Takakura, Hans van Meijl, Willem Jan van ZeistKeith Wiebe, Peter Witzke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterAcademicpeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Food insecurity can be directly exacerbated by climate change due to crop-production-related impacts of warmer and drier conditions that are expected in important agricultural regions1–3. However, efforts to mitigate climate change through comprehensive, economy-wide GHG emissions reductions may also negatively affect food security, due to indirect impacts on prices and supplies of key agricultural commodities4–6. Here we conduct a multiple model assessment on the combined effects of climate change and climate mitigation efforts on agricultural commodity prices, dietary energy availability and the population at risk of hunger. A robust finding is that by 2050, stringent climate mitigation policy, if implemented evenly across all sectors and regions, would have a greater negative impact on global hunger and food consumption than the direct impacts of climate change. The negative impacts would be most prevalent in vulnerable, low-income regions such as sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, where food security problems are already acute.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)699-703
JournalNature Climate Change
Volume8
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2018

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