Patterns and trends in national-level consumption and production-based utilisation of the land-system change planetary boundary.

Abstract

To achieve responsible consumption and production under UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12, national agri-food consumption and production need to be assessed against environmental limits. We downscaled the Land-System Change planetary boundary and allocated national-scale environmental limits for cropland for agri-food consumption via fairshare allocation based on population, and for production via biophysical allocation based on available arable land. We assessed country-level utilisation of Land-System Change planetary boundary for cropland due to their cropland footprints. We quantified national consumption and production-based cropland footprints (including imports/exports) using an environmentally extended multi-regional input-output model and calculated the percentage utilisation of national environmental limits for cropland. Most countries' agri-food consumption footprints exceeded their fair-share cropland limit, but production utilisation of biophysical limits was less pronounced. For example, China and India were within their safe limit of consumption-based environmental limit for cropland with utilisation ratio of 80% and 74% respectively, but their utilisation ratio for production-based environmental limit was 132% and 165% respectively. Assessing country-level utilisation of the environmental limit for cropland can provide a basis for countries to act as individual entities, or together in groups, to develop policies that mitigate their global cropland impacts and minimise the risks associated with the exceedance of the Land-System Change planetary boundary.

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