Climate and Fuel Policy and Competing Demands for Land

Archive Project
Climate and Fuel Policy and Competing Demands for Land

Focus Areas: 

  • Food, Water & Forestry
  • Climate Policy

The goal of this project is to illuminate the tradeoffs between conventional demand for land for agriculture and forestry with the new demands created by climate and fuels policy. Existing fuels policy, e.g. the Energy Security and Independence Act (ESIA), calls for a significant contribution of conventional and second generation biofuels to the US fuel supply. Climate policy (as expressed in, for example, H.R. 2454) could create further demand for biofuels and may divert land from food production to afforestation projects to sequester carbon. In this project we apply MIT's Integrated Global System Model (IGSM) to examine the competition between conventional demands for land (food and forestry) with the new demands created by climate and fuel policy (biomass for fuels or electricity and afforestation). We simulate the model to examine the combination of the EISA and H.R. 2454 (or similar) climate policy goals on domestic agricultural production, prices, trade, land use, and CO2 and N2O emissions. We also consider impacts of these changes abroad on land-use and CO2 and N2O emissions, to include the impact of climate change, rising ambient CO2, and tropospheric ozone on the productivity of crops and forests and on the biogeochemistry of vegetation and soils.

Funding Sources

Project Leaders

Administration, Faculty
Sloan; Joint Program