Mapping and linking supply-and demand-side measures in climate-smart agriculture. A review

L.A. Scherer, P.H. Verburg

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Climate change and food security are two of humanity’s greatest challenges and are highly interlinked. On the one hand, climate change puts pressure on food security. On the other hand, farming significantly contributes to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. This calls for climate-smart agriculture—agriculture that helps to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Climate-smart agriculture measures are diverse and include emission reductions, sink enhancements, and fossil fuel offsets for mitigation. Adaptation measures include technological advancements, adaptive farming practices, and financial management. Here, we review the potentials and trade-offs of climate-smart agricultural measures by producers and consumers. Our two main findings are as follows: (1) The benefits of measures are often site-dependent and differ according to agricultural practices (e.g., fertilizer use), environmental conditions (e.g., carbon sequestration potential), or the production and consumption of specific products (e.g., rice and meat). (2) Climate-smart agricultural measures on the supply side are likely to be insufficient or ineffective if not accompanied by changes in consumer behavior, as climate-smart agriculture will affect the supply of agricultural commodities and require changes on the demand side in response. Such linkages between demand and supply require simultaneous policy and market incentives. It, therefore, requires interdisciplinary cooperation to meet the twin challenge of climate change and food security. The link to consumer behavior is often neglected in research but regarded as an essential component of climate-smart agriculture. We argue for not solely focusing research and implementation on one-sided measures but designing good, site-specific combinations of both demand- and supply-side measures to use the potential of agriculture more effectively to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Original languageEnglish
Article number66
Number of pages17
JournalAgronomy for Sustainable Development
Volume37
Issue number66
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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