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.
A sustainable food future will require reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture even as the world produces substantially more food. The production of rice, the staple crop for the majority of the world’s population, emits large quantities of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
The world needs to close a 69 percent gap between the crops produced in 2006 and the crops the world is on a course to need by 2050.
Quantifiable indicators of the environmental sustainability of agriculture—by which we mean minimizing the environmental impacts of agriculture—are an important tool for helping move the world toward a sustainable food future.