Science and policy impacts

IIASA research has impact at all scales, from local to global, and within both scientific and policy spheres. The institute also hosts two key databases for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and has driven advances in systems analysis methods.

Limiting global temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels

Impact Sheet #19, January 2021. IIASA research has guided the global policymaking community in their efforts to limit global temperature increase to this ambitious goal. When the world’s attention was focussed toward the 2°C target, the institute’s sophisticated analysis mapped credible pathways towards the 1.5°C goal. More

Assessing biofuels for transport

Impact Sheet #18, January 2021. IIASA models feed into the biofuel policies of international aviation and the EU road transportation sector, helping to steer them towards cleaner feedstocks. More

Robust food, energy, water, and land management

Impact Sheet #17, February 2017. Food, energy, water, and land: secure provision of these resources is essential for the survival of humankind. Moreover, they are closely linked, and policies that alter one sector can have large impacts on the others. IIASA has developed methods to improve integrated management and help policymakers design robust, sustainable policies, which take into account trade-offs and synergies between all four sectors. This work has fed into national policy in Ukraine. More

Reducing air pollution worldwide

Impact Sheet #16, February 2017. IIASA analysis has formed the backbone of European air pollution policy since the 1980s, including the latest agreement which became law in December 2016. Scientists at the institute are now applying their expertise to the urgent air pollution situation in other parts of the world. More

Supporting national climate policy in Brazil and beyond

Impact Sheet #15, February 2017. IIASA provided Brazil with a clear, quantitative basis to its climate commitments, leading to robust policy that the government could be sure of delivering. More

Air pollution control for a healthier environment

Impact Sheet #14, February 2017. IIASA played a significant role in bringing under control toxic air pollutants that damage human health and the environment. The Regional Acidification Information and Simulation (RAINS) model, developed at IIASA, was at the center of international environmental negotiations to achieve cleaner air in Europe at lowest cost. More

Programs for Young Scientists

Impact Sheet #13, February 2017. The IIASA Young Scientists Summer Program (YSSP) brings talented PhD students to Laxenburg, Austria, to work on independent research projects in collaboration with top researchers in their fields. IIASA also runs a thriving postdoctorate program and many capacity-building events and workshops for scientists and policymakers worldwide. More

Taking the pulse of global climate action

Impact Sheet #12, January 2015. IIASA plays a leading role in shaping the annual Emission Gap Reports, launched by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in 2010. These reports assess whether emissions pledges from countries during the international climate negotiations are on track to limit temperature increase to 2ºC or less this century. The reports appear each year to inform governments and the international policy community about the possible gap that needs to be closed in order or the world to follow a globally sustainable pathway toward wider objectives, such as the green economy. More

Crowdsourcing and gaming reveal land cover

Impact Sheet #11, November 2014. IIASA researchers have launched several initiatives to reduce uncertainties in the mapping of land cover, mobilizing partners in the national and international mapping communities to share data and products to help develop an accurate global cropland map at minimal cost. More

Interdisciplinary population research

Impact Sheet #10, November 2014. Population research at IIASA is interdisciplinary and thus looks beyond the traditional bounds of demography to study how development of human capital helps to address social, economic, and environmental challenges. These interactions, which emphasize human capital formation, are among the most important challenges facing IIASA demographers today. More

Systems Analysis: Holistic Problem Solving

Impact Sheet #9, November 2014. Advanced systems analysis at IIASA helps decision makers resolve large-scale socio-technical problems in the short, medium, and long term. The problems IIASA tackles are immense, interconnected, persistent, and urgent. They affect human wellbeing and the environment on which we depend. They are of such complexity that to neglect a single aspect of them could be very costly—and not just in monetary terms. More

Global Energy Assessment

Impact Sheet #8, November 2014. The Global Energy Assessment (GEA), coordinated by IIASA, provides the scientific basis for the 2012 global initiative, Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), launched by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. In addition, IIASA/GEA scientists developed analytical tools and policy options for the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the largest public funder of projects to improve the global environment. GEA authors, many from IIASA, also provided substantive input to the 2014 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report. More

Planning for future energy needs

Impact Sheet #7, November 2014. MESSAGE is a IIASA modeling framework for medium- to long-term energy system planning, energy policy analysis, and scenario development. It provides a flexible framework for the comprehensive assessment of major energy challenges. It has been applied extensively to developing scenarios for large global research programs, such as the latest three assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the 2012 Global Energy Assessment. More

Scenarios for IPCC Fifth Assessment Report

Impact Sheet #6, November 2014. In 2007 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) asked the scientific community to develop new scenarios for the Fifth Assessment Report. IIASA scientists contributed to developing two new sets of scenarios: the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs)—four pathways for emissions, concentrations, and radiative forcing; and the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs)—five possible paths human societies could follow over the next century. The RCP and SSP databases are hosted by IIASA. More

Rational land-use planning

Impact Sheet #5, November 2014. IIASA has developed an integrated modeling cluster built around the Global Biosphere Management Model (GLOBIOM) which integrates the agricultural, bioenergy, and forestry sectors and draws on comprehensive socioeconomic and geospatial data. It is integrated with several other models developed by IIASA and partners. More

Simultaneously reducing air pollution and greenhouse gases

Impact Sheet #4, November 2014. IIASA launched the GAINS model in 2006 to explore the synergies and trade-offs between control of local and regional air pollution and mitigation of global greenhouse gases (GHGs). GAINS is used to analyze the future socioeconomic drivers of emissions, emission control options, the chemical transformation and dispersion of pollutants in the atmosphere, and ensuing human health and environmental impacts. More

Analyzing fisheries-induced evolution

Imact Sheet #3, November 2014. Overfishing not only reduces the size of fish populations, it can alter their actual gene pool. In 1998 IIASA began researching fisheries-induced evolution with the aim of i) developing methodological tools to evaluate the evolutionary and ecological consequences of overfishing and ii) using resulting insights to identify evolutionarily sustainable management strategies. More

Financial preparation for natural disasters

Impact Sheet #2, November 2014. Natural disasters, particularly in developing countries, can swamp governments’ ability to support the relief and reconstruction process. Through its catastrophe simulation (CATSIM) model, IIASA has helped many governments to identify their financial and economic resilience and design efficient and appropriate risk-management and -financing strategies, putting governments into a position to proactively tackle the increasing burdens from natural disasters. More

Reducing black carbon deposition in the Arctic region

Impact Sheet #1, November 2014. Arctic temperatures have risen at twice the global average rate over the last 40 years. In recent years, concerns arose that the warming from short-lived climate forcers (SLCFs), like methane, tropospheric ozone, and especially black carbon, might be greater than that of CO2. In 2009 the intergovernmental Arctic Council asked IIASA to investigate the effects of SLCFs in the Arctic using its Greenhouse gas – Air pollution Interactions and Synergies (GAINS) model. More

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Last edited: 05 January 2021


Philippa Baumgartner

Communications Manager:Deputy Head


Communications and External Relations

T +43(0) 2236 807 319


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International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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