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Appears in Collections:Aquaculture Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Protein futures for Western Europe: potential land use and climate impacts in 2050
Author(s): Roos, Elin
Bajzelj, Bojana
Smith, Pete
Patel, Mikaela
Little, David Colin
Garnett, Tara
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Keywords: Land use
Dietary change
Issue Date: Feb-2017
Citation: Roos E, Bajzelj B, Smith P, Patel M, Little DC & Garnett T (2017) Protein futures for Western Europe: potential land use and climate impacts in 2050. Regional Environmental Change, 17 (2), pp. 367-377.
Abstract: Multiple production and demand side measures are needed to improve food system sustainability. This study quantified the theoretical minimum agricultural land requirements to supply Western Europe with food in 2050 from its own land base, together with GHG emissions arising. Assuming that crop yield gaps in agriculture are closed, livestock production efficiencies increased and waste at all stages reduced, a range of food consumption scenarios were modelled each based on different ‘protein futures’. The scenarios were as follows: intensive and efficient livestock production using today’s species mix; intensive efficient poultry–dairy production; intensive efficient aquaculture–dairy; artificial meat and dairy; livestock on ‘ecological leftovers’ (livestock reared only on land unsuited to cropping, agricultural residues and food waste, with consumption capped at that level of availability); and a ‘plant-based eating’ scenario. For each scenario, ‘projected diet’ and ‘healthy diet’ variants were modelled. Finally, we quantified the theoretical maximum carbon sequestration potential from afforestation of spared agricultural land. Results indicate that land use could be cut by 14–86 % and GHG emissions reduced by up to approximately 90 %. The yearly carbon storage potential arising from spared agricultural land ranged from 90 to 700 Mt CO2 in 2050. The artificial meat and plant-based scenarios achieved the greatest land use and GHG reductions and the greatest carbon sequestration potential. The ‘ecological leftover’ scenario required the least cropland as compared with the other meat-containing scenarios, but all available pasture was used, and GHG emissions were higher if meat consumption was not capped at healthy levels. 
DOI Link: 10.1007/s10113-016-1013-4
Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. Published in Regional Environmental Change by Springer. The final publication is available at Springer via

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Protein futures beyond sustainable intensification - Suppl Mat - Revision 2 - 160613.pdfFulltext - Accepted Version401.1 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
Protein Futures Western Europe - FIGURES - Revised version 160603.pdfFulltext - Accepted Version337.31 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
Protein Futures Western Europe - TEXT - Revision 2 - 160607.pdfFulltext - Accepted Version252.24 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

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