Title                           Sustainable development pathways achieving Human well-being while safeguarding the climate And Planet Earth

Lead PI                      Elmar Kriegler, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Germany

Partner PI                  Detlev van Vuuren, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
                                   Bastiaan van Ruijven, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Energy Program, Austria
                                   Richard Wood, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
                                   Ines Dombrowsky, German Development Institute (DIE), Bonn, Germany
                                   Sarah Cornell, Stockholm University, Sweden
                                   Falk Schmidt, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), Germany

Funding Agencies    FFG, Austria
                                   BMBF, Germany
                                   FORMAS, Sweden
                                   NWO, NL
                                   RCN, Norway


The UN 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) present a vision for the wellbeing of all people in prosperity, peace and partnership while preserving the integrity of our planet. The goal of protecting Earth’s climate, SDG 13, is underpinned by the Paris Agreement to hold global warming well below 2°C, through an international climate action architecture of coordinated nationally determined contributions. Numerous processes at local, national and international level are in motion to implement these global agreements, but the current initiatives are unlikely to fulfill the ambition of the Paris Agreement and the SDGs, raising the question of successful transformation processes.

SHAPE aims to contribute an in-depth analysis of sustainable development pathways (SDPs) that achieve the SDGs in 2030 and maintain sustainable development to reach the Paris climate goals until 2100. It will investigate measures to overcome trade-offs to enable simultaneous achievement of a broad range of sustainable development objectives. The SDPs will be developed using world-leading state-of-the-art integrated assessment models taking climate change as the entry point. They will be combined with regional and global scale analysis of governance challenges, where business and civil society actors now play as significant a role as national governments. Through engagement with diverse SDG action processes, stakeholders will steer the identification of regionally and sector-relevant sustainable development indicators for 2030 and beyond, and refine the usefulness of the SDPs for informing policy processes on multiple scales.

SHAPE brings together lead members of the Integrated Assessment Modeling Consortium (PIK, IIASA, UU) with experts in sustainability science and governance (DIE, SRC, IASS) and industrial ecology (NTNU), establishing a new European constellation of policy and business-engaged research centers equipped to link global-level integrated analysis with context-situated dialogue and engagement. A priority is to support robust decision-making by co-designing SDPs through dialogue with diverse stakeholders such as international negotiators and national experts in policy, business and NGOs; and clearly communicating the strengths and limitations of its analytic approaches.

SHAPE comprises six work packages, whose individual thematic objectives contribute to the overall objective of the proposal. WP1 will guide the underpinning stakeholder dialogue on key sustainability interactions, SDP design, and assessment of SDP results. WP2-4 focus on key transformations intricately linked to the climate action challenge: the water-energy-land nexus (WP2), sustainable consumption and production (WP3) and reducing inequalities (WP4). These thematic deep-dives will be augmented by analysis of implications for governing the underlying transformations (WP5), and the synthesis of all work streams in the development of sustainable development pathways (WP6).