Menu

Javascript is not activated in your browser. This website needs javascript activated to work properly.
You are here

Bioenergy plantations could fight climate change—but threaten food crops, U.N. panel warns.

Instead of betting big on bioenergy, governments need to focus on the hard medicine of cutting fossil fuel use. There is no shortcut to climate change mitigation, says Lennart Olsson, professor at Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies and lead author of the IPCC special report on Climate Change and Land, in a news article in Science regarding the "negative emissions strategy" BECCS .
energy agriculture

In the effort to keep the planet from reaching dangerous temperatures, a hybrid approach called BECCS (bioenergy with carbon capture and storage) has a seductive appeal. Crops suck carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, power plants burn the biomass to generate electricity, and the emissions are captured in a smokestack and pumped underground for long-term storage. Energy is generated even as CO2 is removed: an irresistible win-win. But this week, the United Nations's climate panel sounded a warning about creating vast bioenergy plantations, which could jeopardize food production, water supplies, and land rights for poor farmers.

"Our report is kind of a reality check," says Lennart Olsson of the Center for Sustainability Studies at Lund University in Sweden, a lead author of a special report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Geneva, Switzerland. Instead of betting big on bioenergy, governments need to focus on the hard medicine of cutting fossil fuel use, he says. "There is no shortcut to climate change mitigation."

Read the article in Science here

Latest news

26 November 2019

The new science on climate extremes that can help refuel the climate movement. A COP25 side event

The new science on climate extremes that can help refuel the climate movement. A COP25 side event
22 November 2019

Impact story: Increasing understanding and awareness of how individuals can make the most effective choices for the climate

Impact story: Increasing understanding and awareness of how individuals can make the most effective choices for the climate
6 November 2019

Science has much to offer social movements in the face of planetary emergencies

Science has much to offer social movements in the face of planetary emergencies
4 November 2019

Impact story: Building capacity and improving everyday life in sub-Saharan Africa

Impact story: Building capacity and improving everyday life in sub-Saharan Africa
29 October 2019

Clear goals but murky path to ecosystem sustainability: Key knowledge gaps identified

Clear goals but murky path to ecosystem sustainability: Key knowledge gaps identified

LUCSUS
P.O. Box 170, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden
Phone: +46(0)46- 222 80 81
info [at] lucsus [dot] lu [dot] se