Europe’s Land Future | Timothy D. Searchinger – Princeton University

EIRES Lecture

Friday March 18, 2022 from 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
TU/e campus & livestream

Welcome to join us !

You are warmly invited to join the EIRES lecture scheduled as follows:

Friday 18 March 2022

13h30-14h30 CET

Timothy D. Searchinger - Princeton University

Europe’s Land Future: Implications of the EU’s Fit for 55 Plan on Land Use, Climate Change, and Biodiversity

Hybride (Corona zaal @ TU/e Luna building & livestream)

Land use plays an important role in the European Commission’s proposed  Fit for 55 Plan. Statements supporting the plan claim that it will tackle climate change by sequestering more carbon in Europe and that it will also help to improve biodiversity. Europe’s stage of development makes it possible for Europe to reduce the area of land it needs to feed itself. With the right policies,  more land could become freed from agricultural use to reestablish forests, valuable habitats and to eliminate Europe’s net reliance on foreign land for agricultural products. The energy provisions of the plan, however, create vast incentives to dedicate land and forest resources to bioenergy. As a result, Commission modeling indicates that little to no extra land in Europe will be available to store more carbon or to improve biodiversity.  Europe will also likely continue to rely heavily on agricultural land in the tropics for its agricultural products, contributing to global forest and habitat loss. This talk will explore the opportunities for European land to help address the climate and biodiversity crises. It will also discuss the likely consequences of the proposed Fit for 55 plan, and ways the plan could be improved.

About the speaker
Tim Searchinger is a Senior Research Scholar at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. He is also a Senior Fellow and Technical Director of the Food Program at the World Resources Institute. Searchinger's work today combines ecology, agronomy and economics to analyze the challenge of how to feed a growing world population while reducing deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. His publications include multiple papers in Science and Nature addressing the greenhouse implications of agriculture, bioenergy, forest protection and nitrogen pollution. He was the lead author of Creating a Sustainable Food Future, a comprehensive report addressing these issues published in 2019 by WRI, the World Bank and the United Nations, and a report released earlier this year setting forth a pathway for how Danish agriculture could achieve carbon neutrality. His research ranges from global analyses to projects in countries around the world including Colombia, Rwanda, Zambia, Vietnam and Denmark, and focuses both on issues of science and of public policy.

For the first part of his career, Searchinger worked as an environmental attorney, primarily at the Environmental Defense Fund, where he directed its work on agricultural policy, wetlands and restoration of several major aquatic ecosystems, and received a National Wetlands Protection Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Searchinger has also been a fellow of the Smith School of Enterprise and Environment at Oxford University, a Transatlantic Fellow of the German Marshall Fund, a Senior Fellow at the Georgetown University Law Center, a Deputy General Counsel to Governor Robert P. Casey of Pennsylvania and a federal appellate law clerk. He holds a J.D. from Yale Law School where he was Senior Editor of the Yale Law Journal.

Full program
Download the invitation including full program 

Organized by
EIRES | Eindhoven Institute for Renewable Energy Systems

Chaired by
David Smeulders | TU/e - Mechanical Engineering - Energy Technology

Organizers & Speaker


EIRES lectures are open for anyone interested in the latest developments in energy storage and conversion. Different keynote speakers from academia and industry will present their views, solutions and outlooks on the topic. The lectures leave plenty of room for discussion. We value your input. Looking forward meeting you!

Queries & tips?


Eindhoven Institute for Renewable Energy Systems