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Safeguarding China’s long-term sustainability against systemic disruptors

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-07-10, 02:50 authored by Ke Li, Lei Gao, Zhaoxia Guo, Yucheng Dong, Enayat A Moallemi, Gang Kou, Meiqian Chen, Wenhao Lin, Qi Liu, Michael Obersteiner, Matteo Pedercini, Brett BryanBrett Bryan
AbstractChina’s long-term sustainability faces socioeconomic and environmental uncertainties. We identify five key systemic risk drivers, called disruptors, which could push China into a polycrisis: pandemic disease, ageing and shrinking population, deglobalization, climate change, and biodiversity loss. Using an integrated simulation model, we quantify the effects of these disruptors on the country’s long-term sustainability framed by 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Here we show that ageing and shrinking population, and climate change would be the two most influential disruptors on China’s long-term sustainability. The compound effects of all disruptors could result in up to 2.1 and 7.0 points decline in the China’s SDG score by 2030 and 2050, compared to the baseline with no disruptors and no additional sustainability policies. However, an integrated policy portfolio involving investment in education, healthcare, energy transition, water-use efficiency, ecological conservation and restoration could promote resilience against the compound effects and significantly improve China’s long-term sustainability.

History

Journal

Nature Communications

Volume

15

Article number

5338

Pagination

1-10

Location

Berlin, Germany

Open access

  • Yes

ISSN

2041-1723

eISSN

2041-1723

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Issue

1

Publisher

Springer

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