The new competition for land: Food, energy, and climate change
The paper addresses the new competition for land arising from growing and changing demand for food when combined with increasing global demand for transport energy, under conditions of declining petro-chemical resources and the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The paper starts from the premise of a ‘food, energy and environment trilemma’ (Tilman et al., 2009), where all demands to expand the area of cultivated land present high risks of increasing the carbon footprint of agriculture. Having reviewed the main drivers of demand for food and for liquid transport fuels, the paper weighs the controversies surrounding biofuels arising from food-price spikes, the demand for land, and consequent direct and indirect land-use change. It suggests that we need a more complex, and geographically differentiated, analysis of the interactions between direct and indirect land-use change. The paper then reviews evidence of land availability, and suggests that in addition to technical availability in terms of soil, water, and climate, political, social, and technological factors have significantly shaped the competition for land in different global regions, particularly the three major biofuel producing ones of the USA, Brazil and Europe. This point is further developed by reviewing the different innovation pathways for biofuels in these three regions. The main conclusion of this review is firstly that any analysis requires an integrated approach to the food-energy-environment trilemma, and secondly that strategic political direction of innovation and sustainability regulation are required to bring about major shifts in agriculture leading to sustainable intensification of cultivation (Royal Society, 2009), rather than the continued expansion of cultivated area. The consequent perspective is one of considerable global variety in technologies, agricultural productive systems, and use of natural resources. This contrasts sharply with the world of a dominant global and integrated technology platform based on petro-chemicals to which we have become accustomed.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Daniel M. Kammen & Alexander E. Farrell & Richard J. Plevin & Andrew D. Jones & Mark A. Delucchi & Gregory F. Nemet, 2007.
"Energy and Greenhouse Impacts of Biofuels: A Framework for Analysis,"
OECD/ITF Joint Transport Research Centre Discussion Papers
2007/2, OECD Publishing.
- Kammen, Daniel M. & Farrell, Alexander E. & Plevin, Richard J. & Jones, Andrew D. & Nemet, Gregory F. & Delucchi, Mark A., 2008. "Energy and Greenhouse Impacts of Biofuels: A Framework for Analysis," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt7zg2x23t, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
- Piesse, Jenifer & Thirtle, Colin, 2009. "Three bubbles and a panic: An explanatory review of recent food commodity price events," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 119-129, April.
- Searchinger, Timothy & Heimlich, Ralph & Houghton, R. A. & Dong, Fengxia & Elobeid, Amani & Fabiosa, Jacinto F. & Tokgoz, Simla & Hayes, Dermot J. & Yu, Hun-Hsiang, 2008. "Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions from Land-Use Change," Staff General Research Papers Archive 12881, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
- Sperling, Dan & Yeh, Sonia, 2009. "Low Carbon Fuel Standards," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt8834g64j, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
- Donald W. Jones, Paul N. Leiby and Inja K. Paik, 2004. "Oil Price Shocks and the Macroeconomy: What Has Been Learned Since 1996," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 1-32.
- Goldemberg, José & Coelho, Suani Teixeira & Guardabassi, Patricia, 2008. "The sustainability of ethanol production from sugarcane," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 2086-2097, June.
- World Bank, 2008. "The Challenges of High Food and Fuel Prices," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12692, The World Bank.
- Edmar Fagundes de Almeida & Jose Vitor Bomtempo & Carla Maria De Souza e Silva, 2007. "The Performance of Brazilian Biofuels: An Economic, Environmental and Social Analysis," OECD/ITF Joint Transport Research Centre Discussion Papers 2007/5, OECD Publishing.
- Mathews, John A., 2007. "Biofuels: What a Biopact between North and South could achieve," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 3550-3570, July.
- Kammen, Daniel M. & Farrell, Alexander E & Plevin, Richard J & Jones, Andrew & Nemet, Gregory F & Delucchi, Mark, 2008. "Energy and Greenhouse Gas Impacts of Biofuels: A Framework for Analysis," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt5qw5g6q2, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
- Kammen, Daniel M & Farrell, Alexander E & Plevin, Richard J & Jones, Andrew D & Nemet, Gregory F & Delucchi, Mark A, 2008. "Energy and Greenhouse Gas Impacts of Biofuels: A Framework for Analysis," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt3fs897q3, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
- Aleklett, Kjell & Höök, Mikael & Jakobsson, Kristofer & Lardelli, Michael & Snowden, Simon & Söderbergh, Bengt, 2010. "The Peak of the Oil Age - Analyzing the world oil production Reference Scenario in World Energy Outlook 2008," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 1398-1414, March.
- Unruh, Gregory C., 2000. "Understanding carbon lock-in," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 817-830, October. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:36:y:2011:i:s1:p:s40-s51. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.