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Title: Future land-use competition constrains natural climate solutions
Authors: Zheng, Qiming 
Siman, Kelly 
Zeng, Yiwen 
Teo, Hoong Chen 
Sarira, Tasya Vadya 
Sreekar Rachakonda 
Koh, Lian Pin 
Keywords: Climate change mitigation
Cropland expansion
Land-use change
Natural climate solutions
Shared socioeconomic pathways
Urban expansion
Yield gap
Issue Date: 10-Sep-2022
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Citation: Zheng, Qiming, Siman, Kelly, Zeng, Yiwen, Teo, Hoong Chen, Sarira, Tasya Vadya, Sreekar Rachakonda, Koh, Lian Pin (2022-09-10). Future land-use competition constrains natural climate solutions. Science of The Total Environment 838 (3) : 156409. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Natural climate solutions (NCS) are an essential complement to climate mitigation and have been increasingly incorporated into international mitigation strategies. Yet, with the ongoing population growth, allocating natural areas for NCS may compete with other socioeconomic priorities, especially urban development and food security. Here, we projected the impacts of land-use competition incurred by cropland and urban expansion on the climate mitigation potential of NCS. We mapped the areas available for implementing 9 key NCS strategies and estimated their climate change mitigation potential. Then, we overlaid these areas with future cropland and urban expansion maps projected under three Shared Socioeconomic Pathway (SSP) scenarios (2020-2100) and calculated the resulting mitigation potential loss of each selected NCS strategy. Our results estimate a substantial reduction, 0.3-2.8 GtCO2 yr-1 or 4-39 %, in NCS mitigation potential, of which cropland expansion for fulfilling future food demand is the primary cause. This impact is particularly severe in the tropics where NCS hold the most abundant mitigation potential. Our findings highlight immediate actions prioritized to tropical areas are important to best realize NCS and are key to developing realistic and sustainable climate policies.
Source Title: Science of The Total Environment
ISSN: 0048-9697
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.156409
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