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Energy and water are key to development: they were prerequisites for the first industrial revolution and they will be key to a new kind of 21st century development path that echoes to the risk but also opportunities of modern times. This new report, building on the work of various new initiatives provides recommendations and outlines options in respect to bioenergy in support of a Green Economy transition. Bioenergy's water demands are in large part linked with the growing and processing of feed stocks such as crops which in turn has important implications for sustainable agriculture, land use and food production. Indeed land use has in large part been the key area of debate, in respect to bioenergy with implications for not only food security, but also biodiversity and the impact such energy many have on aggravating or cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
Current and future planning in respect to bioenergy also needs to reflect increasing and competing needs for the same raw materials for uses such as food, fodder and fibre as the world population climbs to around nine billion over the next 40 years. This may argue against bioenergy developments. But there are circumstances, outlined in this report, where well-planned deployments might actually improve agricultural practices. Meanwhile, combining food and bioenergy production systems can deliver win wins in terms of energy and food security with benefits in terms of livelihoods, employment and greenhouse gas emissions.
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