Informing the International Community

Since its beginnings in the midst of the Cold War, IIASA has been a natural convener of and contributor to integrated international scientific assessment, working with international scientists from differing disciplines to provide robust scientific information to decision makers.

IIASA was set up to foster mutual understanding among scientists from East and West. In accomplishing this task, it demonstrated the scientific synergies involved in integrated assessment of global challenges like climate change and land use. Even after the Cold War ended, IIASA continued to extend its in-house integrated assessment capabilities at the regional and global scale.

This approach has been widely imitated, for example, in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in whose assessments and reports IIASA has played a major role. IIASA participates in a number of integrated international assessment, as detailed below.

1978: Carbon Dioxide, Climate, and Society

One of the earliest international assessments of the climate problem with 40 authors from 11 countries, prompting Nobel Prize winner Tom Schelling to remark about IIASA: "I never, at the time, discovered any other research organization that had done integrated work on the subject."

1981: Energy in a Finite World

The first comprehensive, and truly global assessment of energy issues, resulting in the internationally acclaimed report, Energy in a Finite World.

1995-present: Special Report on Emissions Scenarios

IIASA scientists and models play a leading role in preparing the most comprehensive and sophisticated scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions for the 21st century. The work is published as the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Cambridge University Press in 2000.

1998: Global Energy Perspectives

The World Energy Council partners with IIASA in a unique study on Global Energy Perspectives. It analyzes how current and near-term energy decisions will have long–lasting implications throughout the 21st century. The five-year study presents its findings at the World Energy Congresses in 1995 and 1998.

2006: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

Ten IIASA scientists contributed to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, a global research project set up by Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General, to assess the planet’s environmental health.

2005-2007: Lighting the Way: Toward a Sustainable Energy Future

The InterAcademy Council launched this in-depth study on how to achieve global transitions to an adequately affordable, sustainable, clean energy supply in 2005. Professor Nebojsa Nakicenovic of IIASA is a member of the organizing group and the study panel.

2004-2006: United Nations Sigma Xi Scientific Expert Group

The group will recommend the most promising technologies and methods the world can effectively employ to address climate change, to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development. Professor Nebojsa Nakicenovic of IIASA is an expert in the group. 

2001; 2004 Update: World Energy Assessment

The United Nations Development Programme, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, and the World Energy Council establish the World Energy Assessment. It provides the scientific and technical basis for discussion in international forums and intergovernmental negotiation on the role energy can play in sustainable development. Professor Nebojsa Nakicenovic of IIASA is a member of the editorial board and a convening lead author. 

2011: Integrated Assessment of Black Carbon and Tropospheric Ozone

The assessment identifies the complementary benefits to human health and the environment of reducing black carbon and ozone, pollutants that are also implicated in global temperature rise. The UNEP - WMO Integrated Assessment of Black Carbon and Tropospheric Ozone report is based primarily on mitigation measures identified using the IIASA GAINS model

2012: Global Energy Assessment

IIASA researchers publish the Global Energy Assessment after a five year effort from approximately 500 analysts and reviewers worldwide. The assessment evaluates a broad spectrum of social, economic, development, technological, environmental, security, and other issues linked to energy. 

Print this page

Last edited: 19 July 2013

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313