Risk of increased food insecurity under stringent global climate change mitigation policy

Hasegawa, Tomoko; Fujimori, Shinichiro; Havlik, Petr; Valin, Hugo; Bodirsky, Benjamin Leon; Doelman, Jonathan C.; Fellmann, Thomas; Kyle, Page; Koopman, Jason F. L.; Lotze-Campen, Hermann; Mason-D'Croz, Daniel; Ochi, Yuki; Perez Dominguez, Ignacio; Stehfest, Elke; Sulser, Timothy B.; Tabeau, Andrzej; Takahashi, Kiyoshi; Takakura, Jun'ya; van Meijl, Hans; van Zeist, Willem-Jan; Wiebe, Keith; Witzke, Peter

VL / 8 - BP / 699 - EP / +
Food insecurity can be directly exacerbated by climate change due to crop-production-related impacts of warmer and drier conditions that are expected in important agricultural regions(1-3). However, efforts to mitigate climate change through comprehensive, economy-wide GHG emissions reductions may also negatively affect food security, due to indirect impacts on prices and supplies of key agricultural commodities(4-6). Here we conduct a multiple model assessment on the combined effects of climate change and climate mitigation efforts on agricultural commodity prices, dietary energy availability and the population at risk of hunger. A robust finding is that by 2050, stringent climate mitigation policy, if implemented evenly across all sectors and regions, would have a greater negative impact on global hunger and food consumption than the direct impacts of climate change. The negative impacts would be most prevalent in vulnerable, low-income regions such as sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, where food security problems are already acute.

Access level

Green accepted