ECE’s overarching vision is to provide evidence-based, scientific roadmaps for feasible systems transformations that simultaneously meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ambitious climate change mitigation targets.

Emphasis is placed specifically on local policy decisions and actions required in the short term to put the world on track to achieve long-term targets while assuring human health, wellbeing, and the reduction of social inequalities in a socially and economically sustainable manner. The program’s systems analytical tools enable it to act as an objective scientific broker in support of sustainable transformational processes. ECE combines the research portfolios of the former Air Quality and Greenhouse Gases, Energy, and Transitions to New Technologies programs.

The ECE program is organized in four Research Groups which encompass different thematic areas of research:

ECE Research Groups

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Integrated Assessment and Climate Change (IACC)

The IACC Group leads the development of tools for a new generation of “coupled” global transformation pathways that are able to represent bottom-up local constraints and opportunities at the national and sub-national scale, which is a major focus of the ECE Program.

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Pollution Management (PM)

The PM Group focusses on solving immediate and near-term environmental (health and ecosystems impacts from pollution), climate (non-CO2 greenhouse gases), and social (widening inequality gaps) problems in a cost-effective way, providing support to policymaking at local and regional scales.

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Sustainable Service Systems (S3)

The S3 Group focuses on demand-side systems as entry points for sustainable transformations. The group analyses demand for energy and materials through the lens of service provision of mobility, shelter, and consumer goods, as well as how lifestyle changes can contribute to consumption reduction.

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Transformative Institutional and Social Solutions (TISS)

The TISS Group explores innovative solutions to environmental issues that integrate social, institutional, and governance drivers with technological and economic considerations, with an emphasis on improving conditions for the most deprived and marginalized in society.

Current ECE Research Themes

ECE Nexus

Just and Feasible Transitions

Scenario Services and Scientific Software

Access to Energy Services

Heterogeneities and Inequalities

Finance

Modeling for National Transformations

Materials

Models, tools, datasets

gas pipeline

Model for Energy Supply Strategy Alternatives and their General Environmental Impact (MESSAGEix)

India Forest

The NExus Solutions Tool (NEST)

IPCC

AR6 Scenario Explorer and Database

Air Pollution in India

Greenhouse Gas and Air Pollution Interactions and Synergies (GAINS)

Projects

urban greenery

Energy Demand changes Induced by Technological and Social innovations (EDITS)

RESCUE

Response of the Earth System to overshoot, Climate neUtrality and negative Emissions (RESCUE)

Staff

Nebojsa Nakicenovic profile picture

Nebojsa Nakicenovic

Distinguished Emeritus Research Scholar (TISS)

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Pat Wagner

Program and Project Officer (IACC, S3, TISS)

Matthew Gidden profile picture

Matthew Gidden

Senior Research Scholar (IACC, S3)

Elina Brutschin profile picture

Elina Brutschin

Research Scholar (TISS)

News

Trophy

09 February 2024

Awards for outstanding early-career scientists

Four exceptional young scientists from the 2023 Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP) have been recognized for their research efforts this past summer. Three will receive funding to continue their research projects at IIASA and one candidate has been given an Honorable Mention for outstanding effort.
Dreamstime_Co2

08 February 2024

IIASA research informs the European Commission's recommendation for 90% greenhouse gas emission reductions by 2040

The European Commission set an ambitious mid-term target, supported by an extensive Impact Assessment, paving the way to climate neutrality by 2050.
IIASA at SAS

24 January 2024

IIASA delegation visits Slovak Academy of Sciences

A recent visit by a delegation from IIASA to the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS) in Bratislava marked a significant step in strengthening scientific collaboration between the two institutions.

Events

Focus

Group of friends with backpacks hiking in the mountains

22 January 2024

Navigating the climate justice landscape

IIASA researchers Caroline Zimm and Kian Mintz-Woo explain the benefits of a recently developed operational framework that aims to bring clarity to the often implicit and varied justice considerations in climate mitigation scenarios, fostering a shared language and understanding to enhance decision-making processes in the intricate landscape of climate policy.

Sustainable building

21 December 2023

High wellbeing with low energy demand towards modern net-zero cities

Following the International Vienna Energy and Climate Forum in November 2023, IIASA researcher Benigna Boza-Kiss reflects on the contribution from the IIASA EDITS project team to this conference, which brought together experts from various disciplines to discuss multi-faceted energy demand in cities like Vienna.

Publications