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Journal Article

Pathway to achieve a sustainable food and land-use transition in India


Jha,  Chandan Kumar
External Organizations;

Ghosh,  Ranjan Kumar
External Organizations;

Saxena,  Satyam
External Organizations;

Singh,  Vartika
External Organizations;

Mosnier,  Aline
External Organizations;

Guzman,  Katya Perez
External Organizations;


Stevanović,  Miodrag
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;


Popp,  Alexander
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;


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

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Jha, C. K., Ghosh, R. K., Saxena, S., Singh, V., Mosnier, A., Guzman, K. P., Stevanović, M., Popp, A., Lotze-Campen, H. (2023): Pathway to achieve a sustainable food and land-use transition in India. - Sustainability Science, 18, 457-468.

Cite as: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_27507
India has committed to reducing the emissions intensity of GDP by 33–35% from the 2005 level by 2030 in alignment with objectives of the Paris Agreement. This will require a significant reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the food and land-use sector. In this paper, we construct three potential pathways for India to achieve its emissions target by 2050 involving moderate ambitions of mitigation action (BAU), moderate ambitions combined with achieving healthy diets (BAU + NIN), and high levels of mitigation action inclusive of healthy diets (SUSTAINABLE). Using an integrated accounting tool, the FABLE Calculator, that harmonizes various socioeconomic and biophysical data, we project these pathways under the conditions of cross-country balanced trade flows. Results from the projections show that the demand for cereals will increase by 2050, leading to increased GHG emissions under BAU. Under the SUSTAINABLE pathways, GHG emissions will decrease over the same period due to reduced demand for cereals, whereas significant crop productivity and harvest intensity gains would lead to increased crop production. The exercise reveals the indispensability of healthy diets, improved crop, and livestock productivity, and net-zero deforestation in achieving India’s mid-century emission targets from the agriculture sector.