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Research Group SoCo

Social Complexity & System Transformation Research Group

Lead: Ilona Otto

A rapid global transformation is needed to achieve the Paris Climate Agreement goals and limit global warming to well below 2°C. This corresponds to reducing global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by at least 7% per year and reaching carbon neutrality by 2050. These goals imply very radical changes in the way human societies produce and use energy and they would also require massive changes to, and reorganization of, economic sectors and social institutions. The aim of the working group is to identify interventions that are likely to lead to a global decarbonization in the next 30 years. The interventions operate on different time and governance scales and for example can be related to the rate of adoption of renewable energy production technologies, low carbon infrastructure development, changes in policies such as subsidy and taxation schemes, as well as social norm and life-style changes. We focus on interventions that are compatible with Sustainable Development Goals and analyse decarbonization pathways in different world regions together with their redistributive impacts.     

We address the following research themes:

  • Human agency in the Anthropocene 
  • Social tipping dynamics
  • Environmental inequalities 
  • Modelling human-environment system interactions 

Research Group Leader

Univ.-Prof. Dr.

Ilona M. Otto

Phone:+43 316 380 - 8464

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