UK Shared Socioeconomic Pathways for Climate Research and Policy (UK-SSPs)
This ground-breaking project aimed to develop shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs) for the UK to help answer key questions about the country’s resilience to climate change.
The project was commissioned by the Met Office and was funded by the UK Climate Resilience Programme. It was carried out by Cambridge Econometrics in collaboration with the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH), University of Edinburgh and University of Exeter.
Developed in collaboration with the UK’s research community, the final outputs of the project will lead to research that is consistent with the SSP framework used by the IPCC and will contribute towards future Climate Change Risk Assessments.
What are Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs)?
The global SSPs, used in IPCC assessments, are five different storylines of future socioeconomic circumstances, explaining how the global economy and society might evolve over the next 80 years. Crucially, the global SSPs are independent of climate change and climate change policy, i.e. they do not consider the potential impact climate change has on societal and economic choices.
Instead, they are designed to be coupled with a set of future climate scenarios, the Representative Concentration Pathways or ‘RCPs’. When combined together within climate research (in any number of ways), the SSPs and RCPs can tell us how feasible it would be to achieve different levels of climate change mitigation, and what challenges to climate change mitigation and adaptation might exist.
Until recently, UK-specific versions of the global SSPs were not available combined with the RCP-based climate projections. The aim of the project was to fill this gap by developing a set of socioeconomic scenarios for the UK that is consistent with the global SSPs used by the IPCC community, and which will provide the basis for further UK research on climate risk and resilience.
News & Events
Paula Harrison (UKCEH), provides an overview of the UK-SSPs project. Paula was speaking at a seminar led by the University of Leeds Sustainability Research Institute in November 2020.
Paula Harrison, Simona Pedde and Zuzana Harmáčková from the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) provide the latest update on the ongoing UK-SSPs project. They share more about what socio-economic scenarios are, why they are important and introduce the five UK soci…
A ground-breaking project, carried out by Cambridge Econometrics (CE), The UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH), University of Edinburgh and University of Exeter for the Met Office is underway.
It seeks to develop consistent shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs) for th…
Here, our Project Manager, Jen Dicks explains that “shared socioeconomic pathways” can be viewed as different storylines of future socioeconomic circumstances. They help inform what impact our society and economy might have on the potential for curbing emissions and climate chang…