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World Resource Institute – Avoiding bioenergy competition for food crops and land

The part of Summary
What is the role of bioenergy in a sustainable food future? The answer must recognize the intense global competition for land, and that any dedicated use of land for bioenergy inherently comes at the cost of not using that land for food, feed, or sustained carbon storage. The world needs to close a 70 percent gap between the crop calories that were available in 2006 and the calorie needs anticipated in 2050. During the same period, demand for meat and dairy is projected to grow by more than 80 percent, and demand for commercial timber and pulp is likely to increase by roughly the same percentage. Yet three-quarters of the world’s land area capable of supporting vegetation is already managed or harvested to meet human food and fiber needs. Much of the rest contains the world’s remaining natural ecosystems, which need to be conserved and restored to store carbon and combat climate change, to protect freshwater resources, and to preserve the planet’s biological diversity.

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