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Executive summary 22


Model-based scenario analysis can help in identifying ways to achieve the environmental targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and related multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) (well established). Target-seeking scenarios provide insight into the required level of effort, promising measures, and possible synergies and trade-offs between these measures and a range of targets. The usefulness of scenarios can be illustrated by the successful use of such scenarios in the literature on climate policy. Scenarios can be used to explore different pathways for achieving long-term targets and provide insights into the costs and benefits of these pathways. There are important interrelations (synergies and trade-offs) between the achievement of the various SDGs and related MEAs.. This means that strategies that aim to achieve sets of targets will have to take account for these interrelations. At the moment, scenarios that explore the fulfilment of a large set of SDG targets simultaneously are mostly lacking. An assessment of possible pathways must therefore rely on more narrowly focused scenarios in the literature. This does lead to a higher level of uncertainty and some clear knowledge gaps. {22.2}


Overall, available scenario literature suggests that different pathways exist for achieving the targets, but that these pathways require transformative changes (established, but incomplete). The rate of change in the pathways, required to meet the targets identified in Chapter 20, indicate that incremental environmental policies will not suffice. Significant improvements in resource efficiency with respect to land, water and energy are required. This includes large productivity gains in agriculture, significant improvements in nutrient-use and water-use efficiency, almost a doubling of the energy efficiency improvement rate and a more rapid introduction of ‘carbon-free’ energy options. Similarly, achieving full access to food, water and energy resources will require a clear break with current trends. {22.3; 22.4.1}


Achieving the sustainability goals will require a broad portfolio of measures based on technological improvements, lifestyle changes and localized solutions (established, but incomplete). The pathways emphasize a number of key transitions that are associated with achieving sustainable consumption and production patterns for energy, food and water, in order to provide universal access to these resources, while preventing climate change, air pollution, land degradation, loss of biodiversity, water scarcity, over-exploitation and pollution of the oceans. These transitions include changes in lifestyle, consumption preferences and consumer behaviour on the one hand, and cleaner production processes, resource efficiency and decoupling, and corporate responsibility on the other. {22.3}


Concurrently eliminating hunger, preventing biodiversity loss and halting land degradation is possible by combining measures related to consumption, production and access to food with nature conservation policies (well established). Several measures have been identified that together can help


minimize the associated trade-offs, including sustainable agricultural intensification (e.g. increased water- and nutrient- use efficiencies), shifts to low-meat diets, reductions in food loss and waste, improved access to food and nutrition management, landscape management and an expansion of protected areas. {22.3.1}


The strong links between biodiversity loss and land use mean that more coordinated international action is needed (established, but incomplete). Scenario literature clearly shows that meeting targets to halt biodiversity loss would not be feasible if land use follows projected business-as- usual trajectories. Also, other policies outside the realm of traditional nature conservation policies are urgently needed to protect biodiversity, such as those related to infrastructure development and climate change. Ensuring more coordinated policy action is therefore important at all levels – within national governments, but also internationally - in particular between land-use planning and biodiversity protection. {22.3.1}


greenhouse gas emissions and the use of land-based mitigation options (e.g. reforestation and bioenergy). Emission reduction measures need to be implemented rapidly, because the carbon budgets for achieving the Paris Agreement are


There are multiple pathways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to levels consistent with the Paris Climate Agreement. Each, however, requires transformative changes and needs to be implemented rapidly (well established). Measures that reduce greenhouse gas emissions include lifestyle changes (e.g. a shift to low-meat diets and a move to more public modes of transport), a doubling of energy efficiency improvement, a more rapid introduction of low- and zero-carbon technologies (including hydropower, solar and wind, and carbon-capture-and-storage), reduction of non- CO2


very tight. As a broad guideline, the rate of decoupling CO2 emissions from gross domestic product (GDP) needs to increase from the historic rate of 1 to 2 per cent per year to between 4 and 6 per cent per year between now and 2050 if the Paris Agreement targets are to be met. {22.3.2}


Air pollution emissions can be reduced significantly, but pathways towards meeting the most stringent air quality guidelines are currently not available (established, but incomplete). Introducing air pollution policies alone is often not enough to achieve stringent air quality standards. However, climate change mitigation (e.g. phasing out fossil fuels) also significantly reduces air pollutant emissions. As a result, scenarios that combine climate policies with stringent air pollution policies show strong reductions in emissions of particulate matter with diameter less than 2.5 µm (PM2.5


),


leading to a significant improvement in air quality in all regions. In the best case scenarios, less than 5 per cent of the population is projected to be exposed to PM2.5


levels above the World Health Organization’s most lenient interim target of 35 μg/m3 . {22.3.2} ,


though more than half of the population is still projected to be exposed to levels above the guideline of 10 μg/ m3


512 Outlooks and Pathways to a Healthy Planet with Healthy People


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