The WORLD6 global integrated assessment model: Linking natural resources, population, energy, pollution, climate change, recycling, trade, health, society, governance and the economy into one structure

by Anna Hulda Olafsdottir (presenting author), Harald Ulrik Sverdrup

University of Iceland, Iceland


The WORLD6 model is an integrated assessment tool that can be used to explore possible strategies and help develop adequate policies and strategies for sustainable resource use in the future. The integrated dynamic model system links the long-term availability of natural resources, industry, materials, market mechanisms, economy, food, population, natural environment, governance and sustainability on a global level. WORLD6 model outputs can be used to assess the long-term sustainability challenges of our society. Examples of what the WORLD6 model outputs may look like are presented and how the model tool could help shape policies for the future. Diagrams showing supply per person and stock-in-use per person for key natural resources suggest some crucial points concerning long term sustainability of the global resource supply. Both demand per capita as well as the number of consumers represented by the global population size matters for the future sustainability of human civilization. The WORLD6 model has been subject to several tests against observations, and some of the results of these tests are presented. The model can be shown to have the ability to reconstruct history (1850-2015) reasonably well. The relationship between extraction, supply and recycling and the time of population maximum plays a vital role in how the supply situation will develop and to evaluate risk for scarcity. With the model, an example was exploring what it would take in comparison to business-as-usual to reach the Paris 2oC goal.