Robust strategies to end global poverty and reduce environmental pressures

Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 6, 21 April 2023
Liu Q., Gao L., Guo Z., Dong Y., Moallemi E.A., Eker S. et al.

Eradicating extreme poverty everywhere by 2030 has proved to be challenging. Uplifting millions out of poverty might lead to exceeding the Earth's environmental boundaries. Using a global integrated assessment model, we assess the effectiveness of 900 strategies under 25 socioeconomic settings in eliminating poverty and quantify their impacts on the Earth system by 2050. Our reference scenario, which follows a post-pandemic economic trend with an annual economic growth rate of 2.05%, projects an extreme poverty rate of 7.34% (uncertainty range 6.29%–8.73%) in 2030. Even under optimistic settings, it may take over two decades to eradicate extreme poverty. Focusing more on environmental drivers of poverty and following historical trends in fiscal policies and social safety nets, we identified two robust strategies characterized by ambitious educational attendance, sustainable dietary choices, low fossil fuel consumption and energy demand, and low fertilizer use, which offset negative environmental effects without compromising the poverty eradication gains.