Global drivers of EU land use

D2.1 Global drivers of EU land use

› Authors: Stefan Frank, Petr Havlík, Hugo Valin, Andre Deppermann, Peter Witzke and Yves Surry
› Nature: Report
› Dissemination: Public
› Due date: Month 12 (September 2014)
› Submission: Delivered
› DownloadD2-1 Global drivers of EU land use_final

Executive summary |

The objective of this deliverable is to identify and assess global drivers of change and to quantify the impact on global and European land use. Therefore, a variety of macro-economic and climate change scenarios has been developed and implemented in a global economic land use model. Different shared socio-economic pathways provide different future assumptions on global drivers of land use change (SSP1 – a sustainability scenario; SSP2 – a middle of the road scenario; SSP3 – opposite tendencies to SSP1).

The highest price increase among the SSPs for agricultural products can be observed in SSP3 which reflects the high scarcity of agricultural commodities due to high population growth and low rates of technical change in the agricultural sector. Under SSP1, low population growth and sustainable diets with less meat on the demand side and high technical growth rates on the supply side lead to the lowest price increases at the global level across the different SSPs. The middle of the road scenario under SSP2 shows the highest crop production quantities. Prices increase more compared to SSP1 because of higher population growth, a less sustainable diet and lower rates of technical change, but less compared to SSP3.

In terms of land use change, SSP2 shows the highest expansion of agricultural land until 2050. In general, it can be observed that under all SSPs forest and other natural land is converted to agricultural land to enable the additional production of crops, livestock products and bioenergy carriers. Different land use change patterns can be observed from a regional perspective. In Europe only small land use change effects are projected while Asia, Latin America, and Africa all are projected to bear large shares of land use changes. The major shares of deforestation are projected to take place in Latin America and in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The climate change impacts show negative average yield effects at the global level for the crop sector. However, grassland productivity increases slightly due to climate change. Consequently, global crop production is projected to decrease and world market prices increase due to climate change effects across SSPs. However, in single regions climate change might have a yield increasing effect on agricultural production and increase regional supply. Overall, climate change drives additional deforestation as more cropland comes into production to buffer the negative climate change impact on crop yields. However, due to increase of grassland productivity and reallocation of livestock production across regions and livestock systems, grassland areas decrease in all SSPs compared to a situation without climate change resulting in less conversion of other natural vegetation.

To conclude, we achieved to successfully identify important drivers of EU land use and implement a consistent set of scenarios taking into account both climate change and socio-economic drivers in GLOBIOM. This is a first important step towards the ultimate goal of work package two of the TRUSTEE project which is to quantify global drivers of land use dynamics and provide prospective scenarios of future land use changes in the EU at different scales.

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