18 October 2016

Shared Socioeconomic Pathways now available

A special issue of the journal of Global Environmental Change dedicated solely on the topic of Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs), co-edited by Energy Program Director Keywan Riahi, and PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency senior researcher, Detlef van Vuuren, will soon be published, and the scenario data are available.

© Gunnar3000 | Dreamstime.com - Climate change

© Gunnar3000 | Dreamstime.com - Climate change


The special issue highlights how different SSP narratives can be translated into a set of assumptions for economic growth, population change, and urbanization, and how these projections can in turn be used by integrated assessment modeling (IAM) models for the development new scenarios. The opening paper “Socioeconomic Pathways and their Energy, Land Use, and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Implications: An Overview”, led by Keywan Riahi, provides a comprehensive synopsis of the special issue.  This issue includes individual papers providing a detailed discussion of the key scenario drivers underlying the SSPs with the aim to offer the modeling community a set of common assumptions for alternative socioeconomic development pathways. Several papers finally provide detailed insights into the integrated scenarios developed by six different integrated assessment modelling teams, with special attention given to energy, land-use, and emissions projections

Development of global population and education (A), urbanization (B), GDP (C), and GDP per capita and the Gini index (D).

These SSP narratives can be combined with different climate policy assumptions and climate change projections and thus facilitate the integrated analyses of impacts, vulnerability, adaptation and mitigation. In short, the Special issue will be a major reference for the SSPs.

Energy Program researchers will also launch a the SSP database on IAM elaborations of the SSPs. 

The scenario data will complement earlier information on the basic economic and demographic elements of the SSPs posted in March 2013.

Special issue articles with IIASA authors:

Rao S, Klimont Z, Smith SJ, Van Dingenen R, Dentener F, Bouwman L, Riahi K, Amann M, et al. (2017). Future air pollution in the Shared Socio-economic Pathways. Global Environmental Change 42: 346-358. DOI:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2016.05.012.

Fricko O, Havlik P, Rogelj J, Klimont Z, Gusti M, Johnson N, Kolp P, Strubegger M, et al. (2017). The marker quantification of the Shared Socioeconomic Pathway 2: A middle-of-the-road scenario for the 21st century. Global Environmental Change 42: 251-267. DOI:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2016.06.004.

Bauer N, Calvin K, Emmerling J, Fricko O, Fujimori S, Hilaire J, Eom J, Krey V, et al. (2017). Shared Socio-Economic Pathways of the Energy Sector – Quantifying the Narratives. Global Environmental Change 42: 316-330. DOI:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2016.07.006.

KC S & Lutz W (2017). The human core of the shared socioeconomic pathways: Population scenarios by age, sex and level of education for all countries to 2100. Global Environmental Change 42: 181-192. DOI:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2014.06.004.

O'Neill BC, Kriegler E, Ebi KL, Kemp-Benedict E, Riahi K, Rothman DS, van Ruijven BJ, van Vuuren DP, et al. (2017). The roads ahead: Narratives for shared socioeconomic pathways describing world futures in the 21st century. Global Environmental Change 42: 169-180. DOI:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2015.01.004.

Riahi K, van Vuuren DP, Kriegler E, Edmonds J, O'Neill B, Fujimori S, Bauer N, Calvin K, et al. (2017). The shared socioeconomic pathways and their energy, land use, and greenhouse gas emissions implications: An overview. Global Environmental Change 42: 153-168. DOI:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2016.05.009.

Crespo Cuaresma J (2017). Income projections for climate change research: A framework based on human capital dynamics. Global Environmental Change 42: 226-236. DOI:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2015.02.012.

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Last edited: 17 November 2016


Keywan Riahi

Program Director


Senior Research Scholar

Transitions To New Technologies

T +43(0) 2236 807 491


Oliver Fricko

Research Scholar


T +43(0) 2236 807 225


Peter Kolp


Transitions To New Technologies


T +43(0) 2236 807 505

SSP Database

The preliminary results of the SSP Scenarios

RCP Database

A database with scenarios from the integrated assessment community to expedite climate change assessments

Interactive tools

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