The world in 2050, transformations needed


The World in 2050‘, TWI2050. The UN is beginning to reflect on what should be done to move closer to the fateful ‘Sustainable Development Goals‘ (SDGs).

The World in 2050
, TWI2050, the scenario

By 2050, 7 billion individuals (as many as the entire population today), out of a projected total of 10 billion, will live in urban areas. Between now and 2030, cities will expand by 1.2 million km², an area equal to the entire land area of South Africa (23′ largest country in the world).

The livability of the planet Is the first of the challenges to be faced. The crucial issues are those of malnutrition, (1)

climate change

and deforestation

, circular economy (2). Not to mention energy efficiency and sustainable mobility, which-although they escape our radar, which is focused on the food supply chain-are equally essential to improving the quality of daily life.

The report

Transformations to Achieve

the Sustainable Development Goals – presented at theUN, High Level Political Forum, on 9-18.7.18, in New York-it was compiled by 60 international scientific and political, academic and non-governmental institutions. And it is the first report published as part of the UN initiative ‘

The World in 2050

‘ (TWI2050).

The TWI2050 project is a global interdisciplinary research initiative based on the assumption of the close correlation between the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), set for 2030 by all United Nations member countries.

Transformations to Achieve

the Sustainable Development Goals
, the 6-point strategy for change

The strategy of change deemed necessary to achieve the SDGs consists of 6 points, to follow.

1) Sustainable development. It is essential to take action on society in order to achieve favorable impacts on the environment. Therefore, we need to overcome the (growing) gaps in access to education(education divide) and health care(health divide). (3) So as to reduce poverty and encourage more environmentally friendly behavior. Égalité!

2) Responsible consumption. The limitation of natural resources and the surplus of waste impose a paradigm shift in the management of consumer goods. Applying a circular economy model that considers some basic requirements:

– reduce demand,

– save resources (i.e., increase production efficiency from an ecological perspective),

– Comply with the waste hierarchy (prevention, design for reuse, recycling, energy utilization, disposal).

3) De-carbonization of the energy system. Experts consider they can achieve the goal of clean and affordable energy for all by 2050. (4) Through the development of renewable energy sources, distribution networks, energy efficiency.

4) Access to nutritious foods (5) and drinking water for all, respecting the biosphere and watersheds. To this end, new environmentally friendly protein sources need to be developed for food and livestock uses (e.g. algae and microalgae, insects). As well as improving efficiency and sustainability of existing food systems (see next chapter).

5) Smart cities. Accelerated urbanization on a global scale requires a transformation of current settlement patterns. Abatement of fine particulate matter levels in the air through de-carbonization of manufacturing plants and housing facilities, sustainable transportation. ‘Smart’ infrastructure and high connectivity(remote work), decent housing.

6) Digital revolution. Science, technology and innovation, it goes without saying, must support sustainable development. What experts do not write about, but governments should seriously consider, is the appropriateness of allocating even a small portion of the huge military expenditures each incurs to civilian targets.

Transformations needed, focus on agribusiness supply chain

TWI2050’s first report highlights the significant impact of agrifood supply chains on the biosphere. The priority of reducing hunger and malnutrition (including excess) that still plague the planet requires working in two directions:

– Ensure accessibility for all to nutritionally balanced foods . Encouraging the consumption of organic food, reducing fat, sugar and meat intakes,

– Increase agricultural productivity by limiting theuse of fertilizers and pesticides.

combating food waste

, at every stage of the supply chain wherever located, ‘

from farm to fork’


It is important, in order to combat waste in the food chain, from storage to packaging to labeling, to adopt legislative and trade procedures aimed at promoting ‘zero-waste supply chains‘ (FabriceDeClerck, EAT and Stockholm Resilience Centre, scientific director). (6)

Dario Dongo


(1) On undernutrition and malnutrition, cite previous articles,,à-infantile-l-esempio-inglese-per-l-italia

(2) On the subject of circular economy, see the articles,,,

(3) See in this regard the Astana Declaration, 25-26.10.18, Global Conference on Primary Health Care, at This declaration follows that of Alma-Ata (1978) and aims to ensure universal coverage of health care (Universal Health Coverage, UHC). However, it has some shortcomings, lucidly expressed by the

People’s Health Movement


(4) In spite of the dastardly European decision to postpone, from 2020 to 2030, the deadline for using palm oil as biodiesel (sic!). See

(5) Cf.

University of Guelph, ‘Not enough fruits, vegetables grown to feed the planet’

, ScienceDaily, 10/25/18, at

(6) Cf.