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FutureLab Leader: NN

interim: Prof. Hermann Lotze-Campen
phone: +49 (0)331 288 2699

Inequality, Human Well-Being and Development


Coping with the challenges of global environmental change necessitates the combination of financial, economic and climate policies. Recent global and national developments have demonstrated that economic advice that focuses only on growth is no longer suitable for dealing with today’s complex and intertwined societal challenges. Instead, understanding and effective management of social capital requires that multiple objectives are taken into account. This FutureLab is assigned to RD2 "Climate Resilience", but it requires close interaction with RD3 and MCC on macro-economic modelling and RD4 on complex network interactions.

Overarching research question:

  • How do climate impacts and climate policies affect the most vulnerable population groups?
  • How is climate change adaptation and mitigation affected by social inequality?

Aims  and strategy

This FutureLab will focus on social science based research on sustainable development, inequality and human well-being. Policy analysis will be based on innovative, state of the art macroeconomic modelling that explicitly considers distributional concerns and impacts on various dimensions of sustainability. These efforts will provide a scientific foundation for the next generation of integrated assessment modelling and eventually PIK’s PIAM development. 

In order to reduce climate impacts to a manageable level, global and national policy makers will have to break new ground in the coming decade. This FutureLab will assess adverse distributional consequences of climate impacts and climate policy on poor households, including related policy assessments. PIK will develop new methods for modelling social inequality, including explicit links to improved macroeconomic modeling and multi-criteria interdisciplinary economic analysis. This will also advance approaches for policy advice. This FutureLab will cooperate with leading international institutions like the OECD, World Bank, or GBD Project.

Up to 2021 we envisage the following milestones:

  • Assessment of climate impacts on vulnerable social groups and long-term economic development for representative developing countries, based on innovative macro-economic modelling.
  • Assessment of ambitious mitigation policies on income inequality and social justice for selected countries around the world.

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