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Regional or global? The question of low-emission food sourcing addressed with spatial optimization modelling

Title data

Kreidenweis, Ulrich ; Lautenbach, Sven ; Koellner, Thomas:
Regional or global? The question of low-emission food sourcing addressed with spatial optimization modelling.
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany; Professorship for Land Use Modelling and Ecosystem Services, Agricultural Faculty, University of Bonn, Germany; Professorship of Ecological Services, Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences, BayCEER, University of Bayreuth, Germany
In: Environmental Modelling & Software. Vol. 82 (August 2016) . - pp. 128-141.
ISSN 1364-8152
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsoft.2016.04.020

Official URL: Volltext

Abstract in another language

Does producing staple food locally cause fewer greenhouse gas emissions than food sourced through imports from another continent? To address this question we used a spatial optimization approach that minimized greenhouse gas emissions from production and transport of five food commodities (barley, maize, oil, sugar and wheat) and compared this to a setting of local production where distances between production and consumption were minimized. We focused on the example of two countries – Brazil and Germany – in order to allow modelling at high spatial resolution. In the model, a minimization of greenhouse gas emissions led to an allocation of large shares of production to locations abroad. In contrast, the local production case, optimized on distance only, resulted in higher greenhouse gas emissions. Our findings show that despite additional transport needs for imports, specialization of countries on the production of specified crops can represent a low climate impact strategy.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER136110
Keywords: Local food; Food miles; Staple crops; Optimization modelling; Life cycle assessment; Greenhouse gases
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Professorship Ecological Services > Professorship Ecological Services - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Köllner
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Professorship Ecological Services
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science > 550 Earth sciences, geology
Date Deposited: 04 May 2016 11:36
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2016 09:43
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/32308