The theme Heterogeneities and Inequalities explores multi-dimensional approaches to reveal inequities on energy access and climate change impacts around the globe in the comparative risk assessment methods, taking a people-centered approach to sustainable development and mitigation of environmental impacts.

One of the main issues related to climate change is the way it affects individual countries and populations differently, increasing inequalities across the globe. Especially low-income countries tend to be affected disproportionately by the effects of the climate change, even if they have contributed little to the deteriorating conditions of the planet with respect to high-income countries. Nonetheless, comparative risk assessment methods usually do not take into consideration complex population-environment dynamics and heterogeneities, meaning that some of the solutions developed for high-income countries might not work for low and middle-income ones.

The theme Heterogeneities and Inequalities introduces a broader focus on distributive justice in human and planetary wellbeing, and provides a broad view of the multiple dimensions of inequality, capturing enablers (eg, material use, household energy use) and the effects of resource use that act as barriers to human wellbeing (eg, air pollution). Such a comprehensive focus on human and planetary wellbeing allows responsibilities to be shared more fairly in any transition process, and can inform more targeted national- or local-level efforts to improve people's health.


Research Projects:


JustTrans4ALL © JustTrans4ALL

JustTrans4ALL: The IIASA Just transitions to net-zero carbon emissions for all (JustTrans4All) project, which forms part of a suite of projects under the IIASA Strategic Initiatives Program, will contribute to novel analyses of transition pathways that are socially and environmentally just. The project will inform policy design, aiming to achieve high levels of human wellbeing within planetary boundaries in line with the UN 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement.


Shape © Shape

SHAPE:  SHAPE aims to contribute an in-depth analysis of sustainable development pathways (SDPs) that achieve the SDGs in 2030 and maintain sustainable development to reach the Paris climate goals until 2100. In the SHAPE project, IIASA leads the work on climate change and inequality, working on improving the global representation of shelter and thermal comfort and perform a global analysis energy needs required for reaching Decent Living Standards.


Genie © GENIE

GENIE: The EU-funded GENIE project will explore the environmental, technical, social, legal, ethical and policy dimensions of greenhouse gas removal and solar radiation management. GENIE aims to produce a comprehensive scientific assessment for evidence-based policymaking to address climate change, and to expand our toolkit for a zero-emissions future.



ENGAGE: ENGAGE is a global consortium of international and multidisciplinary leading research groups, that is coordinated by IIASA, aims to co-produce knowledge for designing cost-effective, technologically sound, socially and politically feasible pathways that can meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement. ENGAGE will also quantify avoided climate change impacts at the regional and national levels and identify concrete policy portfolios that maximize co-benefits and minimize trade-offs.


Recreate-large © IIASA

RECREATE: By studying urban metabolism, a model to study the flow of energy and resources in the cities, we can get a better understanding of how resources are used and ways to reduce negative environmental impact. As the fraction of people living in cities continue to expand around the world, urban metabolism analysis can help decision makers develop cities to become resource efficient, climate friendly, resilient and equitable.