New food security research from IIASA says global carbon tax a no-no

July 31, 2018 |

In Japan, new IIASA-led research has found that a single climate mitigation scheme applied to all sectors, such as a global carbon tax, could have a serious impact on agriculture and result in far more widespread hunger and food insecurity than the direct impacts of climate change. Smarter, more inclusive policies are needed instead.

The research, published in Nature Climate Change, is the first international study to compare across models the effects of climate change on agriculture with the costs and effects of mitigation policies, and look at subsequent effects on food security and the risk of hunger.

The new research shows that without careful planning, the burden of mitigation policies is simply too great. All the models showed that deploying measures such as a carbon tax raises the cost of food production. This can be directly, through taxes on direct agricultural emissions, and taxes on emissions resulting from land use change, such as converting forest to expand agricultural land, and indirectly, through the increased demands for biofuel, which competes with food production for land.

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Category: Research

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