Save our Surface. Land use changes in Austria caused by increasing bioenergy production and global resource depletion â€“ policy options and conflict management.
Synopsis: Dynamic scenarios of the supply of Austria with food as well as materially and energetically used biomass until 2050 with different degrees of self-reliance optimized the spatial distribution of land use types and possible consumption levels aiming at a minimization of land use conflicts. Policy recommendations for sustainable land use strategies were developed.
Abstract: Far reaching changes of the energetic and material resource basis are required for climate policies as well as in view of depletion and increasing prices of fossil resources. The use of non renewables has to be reduced, replacing them by renewable resources, including biomass, which has a central role to play. Due to increased demands on agricultural production, land use competition arises. This dynamics might be exacerbated by productivity losses in agriculture because of climate change and cost increases or supply shortages of fossil fuels, which are, among other uses, necessary as inputs for agriculture (fuels, pesticides, fertiliser).
A socio-economic adaptation is essential to minimize land use competition caused by the production of biogenic fuels. The drastic reduction in energy consumption and economic output required can only be realized in the frame of a socio-economic structural change towards degrowth solidarity, supported by sectoral measures. Interventions to minimize direct and indirect land use competition in view of peak oil, climate change and increased biomass demand have to take place on three interdependent levels: (1) democratic emergency plans for the immediate mitigation of negative effects of peak oil, (2) sectoral adaptations, (3) a structural change of the economy towards a commons-based solidarity economy which enables degrowth.