Leveraging Integrated Assessment Models to access climate feedbacks on Water, Energy, and Land Systems: An Evaluation of Regional and Sectoral Transformations for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

Awais, M. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6853-758X, Vinca, A. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3051-178X, Byers, E. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0349-5742, Fricko, O. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6835-9883, Frank, S. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5702-8547, Krey, V. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0307-3515, & Riahi, K. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7193-3498 (2023). Leveraging Integrated Assessment Models to access climate feedbacks on Water, Energy, and Land Systems: An Evaluation of Regional and Sectoral Transformations for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. In: EGU General Assembly 2023, 23-28 April 2023, Vienna.

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Project: Next generation of AdVanced InteGrated Assessment modelling to support climaTE policy making (NAVIGATE, H2020 821124)


This research investigates the interconnections between water, energy, and land systems in the context of a long-term assessment of transition paths to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It highlights the importance of integrated methods and addresses the complexity, interdependence, and uncertainty of climate change's impacts on natural systems and technology in the water, energy, and land sectors. The research utilizes two Integrated Assessment Models (MESSAGEix-GLOBIOM and IMAGE) to assess the long-term resources, supply, and demand of these sectors, together with the regional and sectoral reforms required to achieve the SDGs. It demonstrates how various locations and sectors would be affected by climate feedback under various climate mitigation scenarios.

The study concludes that changes in water availability, that influence agriculture, water and sanitation access, hydropower potential, and power plant cooling technologies, constitute the largest proportion of climate impacts and the prime source of uncertainty. Furthermore, scenario analysis is used to understand the relationship between the SDGs and climate impacts in the absence of climate policies. The findings demonstrate that considerable progress towards the trajectories of the nexus SDGs resulted in strong synergies and interactions across the energy-water and land nexus components, irrespective of climate factors. Additionally, the study demonstrates that ambitious and healthy dietary modifications and a reduction in food waste can result in a decrease in global food demand, irrigation withdrawals, and emissions. Changes in the land sector can reduce overall SDG policy costs and energy and water expenditures, while strengthening the needs of the poor. Improving wastewater treatment and establishing more efficient water management technologies has socioeconomic and environmental advantages and can alleviate stress on freshwater withdrawals in locations that are water stressed.

The study also shows that some regions, such as the Middle East and South Asia, are more vulnerable to climate impacts on the water sector and may require more extensive investments in water efficiency. In addition, it stresses that supplying households with electricity and clean cooking services can stimulate energy demand in emerging economies, but widespread adoption would require an increase in household incomes, notably in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Overall, the study highlights the importance of exploring the effects of climate change on natural and technological systems in the water, energy, and land sectors, as well as the relevance of implementing a coordinated strategy to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. It also demonstrates the inter - dependencies and potentials of various sectors to achieve the SDGs while addressing the challenges they face because of climate change.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Programs: Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR)
Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR) > Integrated Biosphere Futures (IBF)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Integrated Assessment and Climate Change (IACC)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Sustainable Service Systems (S3)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Transformative Institutional and Social Solutions (TISS)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2024 09:43
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2024 09:43
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/19505

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