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Risk of increased food insecurity under stringent global climate change mitigation policy

Food insecurity can be directly exacerbated by climate change due to crop production-related impacts of warmer and drier conditions expected in important agricultural regions. However, efforts to mitigate climate change through comprehensive, economy-wide greenhouse gas emission reductions may also negatively affect food security, due to indirect impacts on prices and supplies of key agricultural commodities. Here we conduct a multiple model assessment on the combined effects of climate change and climate mitigation efforts on agricultural commodity prices, dietary energy availability, and the population at risk of hunger. A robust finding is that by 2050, stringent climate mitigation policy, if implemented evenly across all sectors and regions, would have a greater negative impact on global hunger and food consumption than the direct impacts of climate change. The negative impacts would be most prevalent in vulnerable low-income regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, where food security problems are already acute.