IIASA Policy Briefs

IIASA Policy Briefs present the institute's latest research in a concise format for policymakers.

A policy framework for Loss and Damage finance

Policy Brief #32, October 2021. A comprehensive risk finance framework supports the identification of international funding options for reducing climate-related risk and addressing residual impacts beyond adaptation in vulnerable countries. More

United scenarios

Policy Brief #31, October 2021. A harmonized scenario framework can help to align national climate policies with global goals. More

Avoiding overshoot: why and how

Policy Brief #30, October 2021. Overshooting global temperature goals is risky. New research from the ENGAGE project shows the long-term economic benefits of scenarios that avoid overshoot and points out the investments needed to make it happen. More

Finding a feasible path

Policy Brief #29, October 2021. A new framework assesses the feasibility of climate scenarios, pointing out stumbling blocks and how to surmount them. More

Cooperation and joint investments are key to sustainable development in the Indus basin

Policy Brief #28, February 2021. Achieving sustainable development in the Indus basin will strongly depend on the capacity of riparian countries to realize the opportunities that arise when cooperation and joint investments across sectors and countries are embraced. More

Sustainable development pathways to water, food, and energy security in the Zambezi basin

Policy Brief #27, February 2021. The Zambezi basin has enough resources to meet its development targets but doing so sustainably will require making strategic choices that deviate from the prevailing development paradigm and investing in the outstanding natural capital of riparian countries. More

Recovery of the Austrian economy following the COVID-19 crisis can take up to three years

Policy Brief #26, April 2020. Collaboration between researchers from IIASA, WU, WIFO, and the IHS provides scenarios of the medium-run economic effects of the lockdown in Austria using the IIASA macroeconomic simulation model. The analysis suggests that the return to the business-as-usual trend may take up to three years after a steep initial economic downturn due to the lockdown, and a gradual recovery thereafter. More

Governance innovation through nature-based solutions

Policy Brief #25, December 2019. There is growing recognition that using the properties of nature can help provide viable and cost-effective solutions to a broad range of societal challenges, including disaster risk reduction. More

Redirect and unleash clean energy investment to achieve Paris climate targets

Policy Brief #24, July 2019. Investment in low-carbon energy is making a difference. IIASA research now provides decision makers with valuable data on the capital required to ramp up renewables, boost energy efficiency, redirect energy portfolios, and fill investment gaps. More

Understand and reduce uncertainties to keep temperature targets on track

Policy Brief #23, June 2019. IIASA research has found explanations for variations in estimates of global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. According to the researchers, actions set out in countries’ nationally determined contributions are described ambiguously, introducing uncertainty into the stocktaking process. This poses a danger that action plans will not be strengthened sufficiently to avoid dangerous levels of climate change. More

Designing effective multiple-objective energy, climate, and development policies

Policy Brief #22, June 2019. A study of seventeen climate and energy policies offers design guidelines for more effective policymaking and implementation. More

Between 1.5°C and 2°C – the big impacts of half a degree

Policy Brief #21, December 2018. IIASA research shows substantial benefits of climate mitigation and achieving the 1.5°C target, as well as where action is most urgently required to reduce the vulnerability of the world’s poorest to unavoidable climate impacts. More

Digitalization will transform the global economy

Policy Brief #20, October 2018. New research has identified several adaptive actions that can both support national economies and prepare countries for a future shaped by digitalization. More

Education and the sustainable development agenda

Policy Brief #19, September 2018. With the launch of the global Sustainable Development Goals agenda in 2015 comes an opportunity to critically reflect on the role of education in, through, and for sustainable development. More

Ensuring a sustainable future for forests:
The case of Ukraine

Policy Brief #18, July 2018. Research shows that large parts of forests in the mid-latitude region, including in Ukraine, are under serious threat of being obliterated by the end of the century unless urgent adaptive action is taken. More

Envisioning participatory governance of energy transition in Jordan

Policy Brief #17, July 2018. Jordan is entering a critical phase in terms of planning its future electricity supply architecture. The results of a four-year collaborative study by researchers from IIASA, Jordan, and Sweden, has led to the development of several recommendations for the Jordanian energy-policy process. More

When it comes to survival, mind matters more than money

Policy Brief #16, April 2018. Life expectancy at birth has increased dramatically across the globe. The widely held assumption that health and survival improved due to higher living standards with medical progress also contributing, is being disputed by new research indicating that education in fact drives all these changes. More

Resource efficiency of future EU demand for bioenergy

Policy Brief #15, January 2017. Greenhouse gas emissions from the land-use sector will be lower if the rising demand for bioenergy is met with worldwide protection for areas important for biodiversity and carbon storage, shows this IIASA policy brief.      More

Between 1.5°C and 2°C — analyzing the global warming targets

Policy Brief #14, November 2016. Two temperatures feature prominently in the Paris Climate Agreement: 1.5°C and 2°C. New studies from IIASA reveal substantially different climate impacts under these two targets and provide a clearer understanding of the challenges and benefits of aiming low on global warming goals. More

Managing an endangered river across the USA-Mexico border

Policy Brief #13, October 2016. To overcome pressures on water quantity and quality in the Rio Grande/Bravo the 1944 Water Treaty between Mexico and the USA must be adapted, taking full advantage of the institutional flexibility to include environmental sustainability. More

Analyzing Population Aging from a New Perspective

Policy Brief #12, July 2016. Population aging is a major force reshaping economies and societies. New characteristic-based measures, developed at IIASA, provide a more accurate assessment of the challenges of population aging and the effects of policies to overcome them. More

Rethinking Population Policies—Why Education Makes a Decisive Difference

Policy Brief #11, September 2014. According to the results of new population research, strengthening human capital by focusing on education and health should become the main goal of national population policies throughout the world. More

Worlds Within Reach—From Science to Policy
IIASA 40th Anniversary Conference

Policy Brief #10,  December 2012. In October 2012, IIASA brought together over 800 leading scientists and experts from a diverse range of disciplines,  regions, and institutions to explore the power of science to find future "worlds within reach” and to chart a path “from science to policy.” The conference showed how systems analysis can diagnose complex problems and deliver smart solutions with multiple benefits for both the planet and its people. More

A Tool for Comparing Countries’ Efforts to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Policy Brief #09,  December 2009. IIASA has developed an easy-to-use online calculator to help industrialized countries compare efforts to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with those of other countries. The calculator is designed to explore alternative schemes for sharing the burden between countries, and it can help industrialized countries identify a mutually agreeable set of GHG emission reduction targets. More

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation: A Systematic Approach

Policy Brief #08, December 2009. As up to 20 percent of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions result from deforestation, the reduction of emissions from deforestation and degradation of forests (REDD) is a major theme of the ongoing negotiations under the UNFCCC. This briefing looks at the fundamental issues and the challenges involved in current proposals to implement a trading scheme for REDD credits. More

Expanding Solar Energy in North Africa to Achieve Climate Targets

Policy Brief #07 December 2009. This briefing identifies the opportunities, risks, and challenges associated with efforts to expand solar energy capacity in North Africa to the point where it can make a significant contribution toward achieving emissions reductions targets. It is based on collaborative research between IIASA and PIK, the Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. More

Negotiating with Terrorists: A Mediator’s Guide

Policy Brief #06,  March 2009. Officially public authorities do not negotiate with terrorists. However, governments frequently do end up negotiating with hostage takers and kidnappers and with political groups classified as terrorists. While this briefing does not necessarily advocate negotiating with terrorists, it outlines the practicalities of such negotiations, providing a guide to deciding how, when, and with whom to negotiate. More

The Challenges for the 
Indian Forestry Sector

Policy Brief #05, February 2009. The research presented in this briefing is from IIASA’s Forestry Program and TIFAC, an autonomous organization under India’s Department of Science and Technology. It highlights the key issues facing the Indian forestry system, identifies major priorities and actions to help the Indian forestry system develop sustainably and meet future national needs.  More

Climate Change and Extreme Events: What Role for Insurance?

Policy Brief #04, revised December 2009. Experts expect climate change to affect not just average temperature, but also weather variability and extreme weather events. The effects impose a disproportionate burden on vulnerable developing countries. How can insurance, including public–private arrangements, play a role in helping vulnerable countries adapt? This Policy Brief offers practical guidance to policymakers shaping the post-Copenhagen adaptation strategy. More

Economic Growth in Developing Countries: Education Proves Key

Policy Brief #03, August 2008. Recently published research carried out by IIASA in collaboration with the Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences proves that education is a fundamental determinant not only of health, demographic trends, and individual income, but also of a country’s aggregate level of economic growth. This gives policymakers a new perspective on international education goals. More

Global Development: Science and Policies for the Future

Policy Brief #02, December 2007, IIASA Conference '07. At its thirty-fifth anniversary conference, in November 2007, IIASA brought together scientists, policymakers, and thinkers to discuss Global Development: Science and Policies for the Future. The aim was a wide­-ranging discussion of what a sustainable and equitable future might look like, and how to get there. Foremost were research priorities and how IIASA might contribute.  More

Uncertainty in Greenhouse Gas Inventories

Policy Brief #01,  December 2007, highlights issues and challenges arising from uncertainty in estimates of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals, explores how this uncertainty can be dealt with, and points to the implications of uncertainty analysis for policymakers. The information contained in this briefing is from the Second International Workshop on Uncertainty in Greenhouse Gas Inventories, IIASA, 27–28 September 2007. More

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Last edited: 19 October 2021

Examples of IIASA's Impact on Policy

Planning of a Country's Energy Needs

Financial Planning for Natural Disasters

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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