Risks to Sustainable Development

Risks to sustainable development are manifold and are shaped by the interactions between climatic stimuli and the socio-economic as well as physical environment. Our work in this field includes assessments of risks to livelihoods of vulnerable populations, focussing also on non-climatic factors, which determine vulnerability.


Sub-Saharan Africa is at a pivotal crossroads in its development. Its choice of energy for the future will be decisive in achieving its sustainable development ambitions, including clean and affordable electricity access for all. This report provides an overview of the state of the energy transition in sub-Saharan Africa.  
This paper provides five scenarios of sustainable irrigation deployment in the 21st century integrated into the framework of Shared Socioeconomic Pathways, which account for biophysical irrigation limits and socioeconomic constraints. We find that the potential for sustainable irrigation expansion implied by biophysical limits alone is considerably reduced when socioeconomic factors are considered.  


The Socioeconomic Pathways, Adaptation, and Resilience to a Changing Climate in Europe (SPARCCLE) project aims better inform decision-making on the risks posed by climate change. The project is updating climate risk projections and using these as the bases for creating new mitigation and adaptation strategies, taking into account local vulnerabilities and capacity constraints.  
When climate impacts hit, there are those who don’t, or can’t, leave. The Immobility in a changing climate (ITHACA) project looks at the choices and constraints that lead to people’s immobility in the face of climate change, and what ramifications that has for their lives.  
SLICE is investigating Short- and Long-Term Impacts of Climate Extremes and aims to develop a systematic understanding of the channels through which climate extremes impact socio-economic development all the way from the household to the macroeconomic level. This will help developing effective strategies for long-term economic development under climate change.