The Biotechnology based Ecologically Balanced Sustainable Industrial Consortium (BE-BASIC) aims to develop industrial biobased solutions to build a sustainable society. The MAGNET model is used to assess the macro-economic and food security impacts of a shift towards a bio-based society to 2050.
To enable an assessment of the macro-economic and food security impacts of biomass use the MAGNET CGE model needs to be expanded and updated. Firstly, the chemical-energy sectors are disaggregated and the linkages between the these sectors and the agricultural and forestry sectors are improved. MAGNET also is updated with greenhouse gas emissions and climate change policies. Secondly, the processes of technical change (innovation, diffusion, learning) in MAGNET are improved. The choice between fossil based and biobased inputs is now modelled endogenously and MAGNET now also determines the source of biomass supply.
The overall impact of a shift towards the biobased economy on food security in developing countries is subject of intense debate. On one hand the boost to agriculture may increase incomes, stimulate rural development and increase agricultural productivity, while on the other hand, biofuel induced increases in food prices and competition for land may reduce food consumption. The MAGNET model is extended to include multiple types of households for key developing countries using the MyGTAP model (mygtap.org). The resulting model can be used to identify the winners and losers of an expansion in the biobased economy and help identify the conditions under which such a shift can be beneficial for those in developing countries.