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Case study

Rio+20 scenarios

Lesson learned
The results of scenario analyses show that different combinations of policy actions, grouped in the three scenarios, may lead to achieving the multiple sustainability targets. These quantitatively coherent scenarios indicate that eradicating hunger as well as providing full access to modern energy on the one hand, and achieving environmental sustainability on the other, is possible. However, marginal improvements will not suffice; large, transformative changes are needed to realise sustainable development.
**The role of the Rio+20 scenarios in policy support **
Initially a contribution to the Rio+20 conference held in Rio de Janeiro in 2012, the scenarios and their main messages were taken up in the 4th Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO4) (sCBD, 2014). The Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity adopted the conclusions of the GBO4 and committed to step up actions to achieve the Aichi biodiversity targets, including a pledge by national governments to double funding for necessary actions (CBD, en.pdf). Additional initiatives were launched to enhance the biodiversity perspective in sustainable commodity production (CBD, 16-commodities-en.pdf). The outcomes from the scenario analyses provided underlying arguments for these decisions and initiatives.
Contact details
IPBES Secretariat

In 1992, governments worldwide agreed to work towards a new sustainable development agenda aimed at eradicating poverty, halting climate change and conserving ecosystems. Although progress has been made in some areas, actions have not been able to alter the trends in other critical areas of sustainable development, such as providing access to sufficient food and modern forms of energy, preventing dangerous climate change, conserving biodiversity and controlling air pollution. Without additional efforts, these sustainability objectives will not be achieved by 2050.

To jointly reach the long-term targets on human well-being (eradicating hunger and ensuring full access to modern energy sources), climate change (temperature rise of less than 2°C) and biodiversity conservation (no further loss by 2050), three scenarios were developed. The long-term targets for sustainability were the objective set for 2050 in these target-seeking scenarios (van Vuuren et al., 2012) which were based on different strategies of sustainable development: global technology, descentralised solutions, and consumption change. The scenarios were evaluated up to 2050 using the IMAGE 3.0 (Integrated Model to Assess the Global Environment) modelling framework (http://themasites. combined with the GLOBIO 3.0 model ( IMAGE is an integrated assessment model of global environmental change and enables assessment of the impacts of socio-economic development on the environment, including land use, climate and water flow and pollution. GLOBIO is linked to IMAGE and calculates the impacts of environmental changes on some biodiversity indicators by using cause-effect relationships.


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