Substituting 20% of global beef consumption with pork or poultry could reduce agricultural land use

“In our scenario depicting the FAO projections, it is estimated that total agricultural land area globally will expand from current 5.1 billion ha to approximately 5.4 billion ha in 2030, leaving little room for a major expansion of bioenergy plantations. However, if assuming somewhat higher annual increases of livestock productivity than in the FAO study – but still only slightly above the historical rates since 1960 – and a 20 percent substitution of ruminant meat with pig/poultry meat in human diets, agricultural land requirement may decrease to about 4.4 billion ha.”

Source: Stefan Wirsenius, Christian Azar, and Göran Berndes, “Global bioenergy potentials: A new approach using a model-based assessment of biomass flows and land demand in the food and agriculture sector 2030,” Second World Biomass Conference: Biomass for Energy, Industry, and Climate Protection, 1, (2004): 471, accessed October 20, 2014,

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