Creating a Sustainable Food Future. A Menu of Solutions to Feed Nearly 10 Billion People by 2050
Can We Grow More Food on Less Land? We’ll Have To, a New Study Finds. By 2050, nearly 10 billion people will live on the planet. Can we produce enough food sustainably?
The synthesis report of the World Resources Report: Creating a Sustainable Food Future shows that it is possible – but there is no silver bullet. This report offers a five-course menu of solutions to ensure we can feed everyone without increasing emissions, fueling deforestation or exacerbating poverty. Intensive research and modeling examining the nexus of the food system, economic development, and the environment show why each of the 22 items on the menu is important and quantifies how far each solution can get us.
WRI produced the report in partnership with the World Bank, UN Environment, UN Development Programme, and the French agricultural research agencies CIRAD and INRA.
The challenge is daunting: Agriculture already occupies roughly 40 percent of the world’s land and is responsible for about a quarter of humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions. But with the global population expected to grow from 7.2 billion people today to nearly 10 billion by 2050, and with many millions of people eating more meat as incomes rise, that environmental impact is on pace to expand dramatically.
Based on current trends, the authors calculated, the world would need to produce 56 percent more calories in 2050 than it did in 2010. If farmers and ranchers met that demand by clearing away more forests and other ecosystems for cropland and pasture, as they have often done in the past, they would end up transforming an area twice the size of India. ( NYT)
More about the WRI series
- Shifting Diets for a Sustainable Food Future
- Ensuring Crop Expansion is Limited to Lands with Low Environmental Opportunity Costs
- Avoiding Bioenergy Competition for Food Crops and Land
- Creating a Sustainable Food Future: Interim Findings
- Improving Land and Water Management
Further reading - Relevant WRI publications included in our catalogue