Chuan Liao, Kerstin Nolte, Jonathan A. Sullivan, Daniel G. Brown, Jann Lay, Christof Althoff, Arun Agrawal · 2021
Nature Food · Springer Science and Business Media LLC

Carbon emissions from the global land rush and potential mitigation

Global drivers and carbon emissions associated with large-scale land transactions have been poorly investigated. Here we examine major factors behind such transactions (income, agricultural productivity, availability of arable land and water scarcity) and estimate potential carbon emissions under different levels of deforestation. We find that clearing lands transacted between 2000 and 2016 (36.7 Mha) could have emitted ~2.26 GtC, but constraining land clearing to historical deforestation rates would reduce emissions related to large-scale land transactions to ~0.81 GtC.

Full publication is available on: DOI 10.1038/s43016-020-00215-3

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Jann Lay

Jann Lay
German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA)

Jann Lay is Head of the Research Programme “Growth and Development” at the GIGA German Institute for Global and Area Studies, Hamburg ( As adjunct professor, he also teaches development economics at the University of Goettingen. His work is on various facets of economic development in the Global South, in particular in Africa, including on (informal) employment and labour market, the impacts of commercial agricultural expansion, environment-development linkages, as well as issues related to energy, climate and development (see

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