Narrow option space for achieving the SDGs in Australian land systems

by Deakin University and CSIRO

(Other)

A Global Compact member

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We aimed to assess whether is possible to achieve multiple UN global Sustainable Development Goals at the national scale in Australia’s agricultural land.

Project implemented: April 2017

Project goal

Our study is the first to comprehensively downscale national SDG targets and to assess whether they are achievable.

delivering on

why is this project important?

The options for achieving the SDGs in Australia’s land systems are very narrow.

Key steps to make it happen

1Downscaling

The global SDGs were downscaled for Australia to provided quantitative national targets.

2Scenario modelling

Many scenarios for Australia's land-systems were modelled and the impacts calculated for many sustainability indicators.

3Option space analysis

The range of future conditions under which the downscaled SDGs were achieved (i.e. the option space) was calculated.

We adapted and downscaled relevant sustainability targets at weak, moderate, and ambitious levels for economic development, food production, water resource use, renewable energy, emissions abatement, and biodiversity/land degradation for 2030 and also 2050. We projected potential land-use change under 648 pathways designed to cover a range of sustainability outcomes under plausible global and national socio-economic and environmental futures. We assessed the degree of target achievement under each of these pathways and quantified the option space—the specific environmental and socio-economic settings required at global and national scales—for achieving sustainability targets.

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