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 regions1,2,3. 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 commodities4,5,6. 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.
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T.H., S.F., K.T. and J.T. acknowledge support from the Environment Research and Technology Development Fund 2-1702 of the Environmental Restoration and Conservation Agency of Japan and the JSPS Overseas Research Fellowships. P.H., H.V. A.T. and H.v.M. acknowledge support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (EU H2020) under grant agreement no. 633692 (SUSFANS project). B.L.B. acknowledges support from the EU H2020 under grant agreement no. 689150 (SIM4NEXUS project). K.W., T.B.S. and D.M.D. acknowledge support from the CGIAR Research Programs on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) and on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). This study has been partly funded by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (AGCLIM50 Project).
Supplementary Discussions 1–10, Supplementary Figures 1–17 and Supplementary Tables 1–5
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Nature Sustainability (2019)
Nature Communications (2019)
Nature Communications (2019)
Climatic Change (2019)
Acta Physiologiae Plantarum (2019)