Here’s a quote from the Australian National Outlook study released by the CSIRO last week:
‘While water use is projected to double by 2050, this growth can be met while enhancing urban water security and avoiding increased environmental pressures through increased water recycling, desalination and integrated catchment management. We find water demand and supply are shaped by complex interactions between food production, energy-intensive industries, energy and water efficiency, and new carbon plantings – all against a background of regional constraints on rain-fed water resources and a growing population and economy.
‘We can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions significantly through energy efficiency, carbon capture and storage, renewable energy, and land-sector sequestration. In the case of concerted global action on climate change, this could see Australia reduce its per capita emissions to below the global average by 2050, down from five times the average in 1990, while maintaining strong economic growth. Actual costs and benefits would be highly dependent on the details of domestic policies, and how these interact with international actions.
‘Australia’s ecosystems are unique and globally significant. At payments for carbon farming around A$40-60 per tonne of CO2e by 2030, carbon credits could be harnessed to reward landowners for restoring ecosystems, increasing native habitat by 17% and decreasing extinction risks by 10%, without large additional government outlays.’
Optimistic? Let’s say it’s a scenario in which a lot of things have to go right.