Climate change impacts and mitigation across spatial scales

The Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program’s Environmental Resources and Development (ERD) group has used the GLOBIOM model to analyze the consequences of climate change for the agricultural sector, with a focus on food availability consequences in developing countries.

 © Sjors737 | Dreamstime

© Sjors737 | Dreamstime

Using the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways and Representative Concentration Pathways, ERD researchers compared the effects of stringent mitigation policies on the agricultural and forestry sectors with the effects of climate change itself. The policy assessed was a carbon tax consistent with climate stabilization at 2°C above the pre-industrial level. The analysis showed that such a top down policy implementation could potentially have even more severe effects on food availability in developing regions than climate change.

These results highlight the need to reconcile the top-down mitigation potential estimates and the bottom-up, socially acceptable policy design. The study served as a key background analysis to the World Bank report on the impact of climate change on poverty. To aid these bottom-up processes, ERD has also quantified regional development scenarios in collaboration with the Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security Program of CGIAR and with the International Food and Policy Research Institute, informed adaptation and mitigation policy developments in countries such as Burkina Faso, Tanzania, or Uganda. ERD experience in the multi-scale analysis supports also the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project’s Coordinated Global and Regional Assessment group launched in 2015.


[1] Havlík P, Valin H, Gusti, M, Schmid E, Leclère D, Forsell N, Herrero M & Khabarov N (2015). Climate change impacts and mitigation in the developing world: An integrated assessment of the agriculture and forestry sectors. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 7477.


Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia

University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU), Austria

World Bank, USA

Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), France

Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), Denmark

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), USA

The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project, USA

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Last edited: 15 March 2016


Petr Havlík

Program Director and Principal Research Scholar Biodiversity and Natural Resources Program

Research Group Leader and Principal Research Scholar Integrated Biosphere Futures Research Group - Biodiversity and Natural Resources Program

Nicklas Forsell

Senior Research Scholar Integrated Biosphere Futures Research Group - Biodiversity and Natural Resources Program


Back to the future: using scenarios to road-test the policies of tomorrow

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