01 March 2017 - 07 March 2017
Gvishiani Room, IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria

Negative emissions, food security, and the SDGs

Land use related negative emission technologies (LUNETs) – their implications on food security and relevant SDGs - 

©kamilpetran | shutterstock

©kamilpetran | shutterstock

In a series of workshops from 03-07 March, 48 participants from more than 10 different countries and 16 different institutions will come together to discuss Land use related negative emission technologies.  

Reaching ambitious stabilization targets such as those stipulated by the Paris Agreement will - according to the large majority of currently quantified scenarios - require deployment of negative emissions technologies (NETs) among which afforestation and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) are privileged by the Integrated Assessment Modeling (IAM) community. But afforestation and BECCS will require hundreds of million hectares of land already by mid of century. Depending on the location of the production, this may lead to competition for land and water with food production and hence presenting a threat to food availability. On the other hand, these NETs will represent new revenue opportunities for rural areas where still the large majority of food insecure people live and hence together with increased agricultural income could lead to improved access to food. 

At the first workshop (2-3 March),  1) the role and the land use implications of LUNETs deployment in deep decarbonization scenarios and 2) the way how IAMs currently represent the link between land use and food security and the implications for conclusions on LUNETs will be reviewed, and 3) a research agenda for a roadmap for LUNETs deployment promoting food security and other relevant SDGs will be developed. 

At the second joint Imperial College London (ICL) - IIASA workshop (6-7 March) researchers from both institutions will meet to discuss GGR/NETs modelling. The main objectives of this workshop are, 1) to review relevant IIASA/ICL models and approches, 2) discuss complementary methodologies and 3) identify collaboration options and next steps. 

The Global Carbon Project

GCP assists the international science community to establish a common, mutually agreed knowledge base supporting policy debate and action to slow the rate of increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

MaGNET Initiative

In the first half of this year Earth’s CO2 level has surpassed 400ppm, which is the highest level in our history since the Pliocene. It thus appears that we are indeed steering towards an overshoot before stabilizing at ppm levels allowing us to restrict global warming to 2℃ above pre-industrial levels. How can this stabilization still be achieved? One core ingredient in the mitigation mix are negative emissions (NE)—explicitly put forth as an option also by the recent AR5—mostly based on carbon-neutral bioenergy (due to the same amount being sequestered by feedstock growth as being emitted when combusting biomass for energy generation) combined with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), which in addition captures CO2 during the energy production phase. But also other options are discussed including large-scale afforestation and soil carbon sequestration. Yet, while having long appeared to be an attractive option for climate management, many uncertainties remain—both socio-economically/technologically and on part of the climate science.

Text adapted from MaGNET Initiative

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Last edited: 20 March 2017


Florian Kraxner

Research Group Leader and Principal Research Scholar Agriculture, Forestry, and Ecosystem Services Research Group - Biodiversity and Natural Resources Program


International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313