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Integrating degrowth and efficiency perspectives enables an emission-neutral food system by 2100

Authors
/persons/resource/Bodirsky

Bodirsky,  Benjamin Leon
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/david.chen

Chen,  David Meng-Chuen
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/Isabelle.Weindl

Weindl,  Isabelle
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/bjoern.soergel

Sörgel,  Björn
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/felicitas.beier

Beier,  Felicitas
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/MolinaBacca

Molina Bacca,  Edna J.
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/gaupp

Gaupp,  Franziska
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/Alexander.Popp

Popp,  Alexander
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

/persons/resource/Lotze-Campen

Lotze-Campen,  Hermann
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

External Ressource

https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5543426
(Supplementary material)

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Citation

Bodirsky, B. L., Chen, D.-M.-C., Weindl, I., Sörgel, B., Beier, F., Molina Bacca, E. J., Gaupp, F., Popp, A., Lotze-Campen, H. (2022): Integrating degrowth and efficiency perspectives enables an emission-neutral food system by 2100. - Nature Food, 3, 5, 341-348.
https://doi.org/10.1038/s43016-022-00500-3


Cite as: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_27061
Abstract
Degrowth proponents advocate reducing ecologically destructive forms of production and resource throughput in wealthy economies to achieve environmental goals, while transforming production to focus on human well-being. Here we present a quantitative model to test degrowth principles in the food and land system. Our results confirm that reducing and redistributing income alone, within current development paradigms, leads to limited greenhouse gas (GHG) emission mitigation from agriculture and land-use change, as the nutrition transition towards unsustainable diets already occurs at relatively low income levels. Instead, we show that a structural, qualitative food system transformation can achieve a steady-state food system economy that is net GHG-neutral by 2100 while improving nutritional outcomes. This sustainable transformation reduces material throughput via a convergence towards a needs-based food system, is enabled by a more equitable income distribution and includes efficient resource allocation through the pricing of GHG emissions as a complementary strategy. It thereby integrates degrowth and efficiency perspectives.