1 January 2014

Biomass energy and the implications for climate and food: The Uruguayan response

Roberto Bissio

Bissio is the executive director of Instituto del Tercer Mundo (Third World Institute), a nonprofit research and advocacy organization...


Many experts have concluded that, if greenhouse gas concentrations are to be limited while the world’s energy demands are nonetheless met, biomass energy will be an indispensable resource. At the same time, climate change is expected to affect agricultural productivity adversely—and 15 percent of people in developing countries, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, already suffer from extreme food insecurity. Authors from three countries—José R. Moreira of Brazil (2014), Roberto Bissio of Uruguay, and Ethan B. Davis and Tom L. Richard of the United States (2014)—explore how the potential climate mitigation benefits of devoting arable land to the production of biomass energy can be achieved without further undermining food security in the developing world.