Appendix (i.e. Supporting Information)

SSP1: Sustainability – The Green Road
         The world shifts gradually, but pervasively, toward a more sustainable path,
         emphasizing more inclusive development that respects perceived environmental
         boundaries. Increasing evidence of and accounting for the social, cultural, and
         economic costs of environmental degradation and inequality drive this shift.
         Management of the global commons slowly improves, facilitated by increasingly
         effective and persistent cooperation and collaboration of local, national, and
         international organizations and institutions, the private sector, and civil society.
         Educational and health investments accelerate the demographic transition,
         leading to a relatively low population. Beginning with current high-income
         countries,the emphasis on economic growth shifts toward a broader emphasis on
         human well-being, even at the expense of somewhat slower economic growth over
         the longer term. Driven by an increasing commitment to achieving development
         goals, inequality is reduced both across and within countries. Investment in
         environmental technology and changes in tax structures lead to improved
         resource efficiency, reducing overall energy and resource use and improving
         environmental conditions over the longer term. Increased investment, financial
         incentives and changing perceptions make renewable energy more attractive.
         Consumption is oriented toward low material growth and lower resource and
         energy intensity. The combination of directed development of environmentally
         friendly technologies, a favorable outlook for renewable energy, institutions that
         can facilitate international cooperation, and relatively low energy demand results
         in relatively low challenges to mitigation. At the same time, the improvements in
         human well-being, along with strong and flexible global, regional, and national
         institutions imply low challenges to adaptation.

Additional Information
Motivating forces: Growing evidence of and accounting for the social, cultural, and economic
costs of inequality and environmental degradation moves the world gradually, but pervasively, to
prioritize progress towards achieving global and national development and sustainability goals,
while reducing inequality (across and within economies). The shift is more pronounced in
developed countries, which increasingly prioritize improvements in well-being over economic
growth per se. Even in developing countries, where there is a continued focus on economic
growth, goals are tempered by increased attention to ensuring this growth is broad-based and
does not come at the expense of long-term degradation of local environments

This shift evolves over time and is not uniform. The gradual accumulation of evidence of the
costs of inequality and environmental degradation is punctuated by periodic tragedies that bring
these costs into stark relief. These events stimulate growing constituencies supporting change at
the local, national, regional, and international levels. Over time, the initially disparate
constituencies are mutually reinforcing, ultimately leading to effective and persistent cooperation
and collaboration across these scales and between public organizations, the private sector, and
civil society within and across all scales of governance, including local, regional, national, and
These trends open the door to formal and informal actions that, over time, help to fundamentally
restructure the relationships within and between societies, and between humans and the
environment. Policies shift to align incentives with development and sustainability goals,
including measures such as the adoption and use of standardized measures of well-being to
complement GDP; a shift in taxes and subsidies towards a stronger recognition of environmental
considerations; a tightening of environmental regulation on the national and regional level;
optimizing resource use efficiencies associated with urbanizing lifestyles; and improving the
access of developing countries to international markets, including the opening of agricultural
markets. As a result of these changing incentives, as well as evolving norms, there are further
shifts in public and private behavior reflected in changing consumption and investment patterns.
Many of these developments are slow to take hold broadly, and face some resistance and
experience setbacks along the way. However, over time they become increasingly self-
reinforcing. It is a bumpy road, but one that eventually moves most of the world in a more
sustainable direction.
Policies, institutions and social conditions: Relatively effective and persistent cooperation and
collaboration of national and international organizations and institutions, the private sector, and
civil society help drive the transition from increased environmental degradation in the short-term
to improved management of the local environment and the global commons over the longer term.
For example, tighter controls on air pollution improve health in developing countries.
Improvements in agricultural productivity through rapid diffusion of best practices and
development of new cultivars and other technologies decrease challenges to food security.
Research and technology development reduce the challenges of access to safe water.
New global institutions evolve to support cooperation on sustainable development, with flexible
roles played by other actors. Reductions in corruption levels, policies calling for greater
transparency in all sectors of society, and strengthening of the rule of law gradually lead to
greater effectiveness of development policies.
Human development: A large emphasis is placed on education and providing access to health
care. Policies aim at achieving universal access and promoting higher education levels and
gender equality. Relatively high economic growth in low-income countries reduces poverty, and
a global focus on increasing equity also increases social cohesion, while maintaining high levels
of social and cultural diversity within and across countries. Increasing access to health care and

to safe water and improved sanitation in low-income countries reduces the burden of preventable
Economy and lifestyles: This development pathway implies that economic growth is relatively
high in developing countries, although growth rates are moderated over time by a shift in
emphasis from growth per se to well-being, equity, and sustainability. Inequality is reduced
across and within countries. Markets are globally connected, but an emphasis on regional
production reduces the incentives for specialization and limits the increase in trade volumes.
Investment in environmental technology and changes in tax structures, including phase out of
subsidies on fossil fuels, particularly coal and oil, lead to higher levels of resource efficiency,
moderating overall energy and resource use over the longer term. Increased investment, lower
taxes, and changing perceptions make renewables more attractive. The service sector grows
relatively quickly. Consumption is oriented towards low material growth and lower resource and
energy intensity, with a relatively low level of consumption of animal products.
Population and urbanization: Investments in human capital and rapid technological change
accelerate the demographic transition in currently high fertility countries, leading to a relatively
low population. Economic optimism sustains or increases fertility levels toward the replacement
rate in currently low fertility countries. Urbanization, while still rapid in many developing
regions of the world, increasingly is directed via growth of civil society, governance capacity and
engaged decision-making to promote environmental benefits, and limit negatives associated with
urban growth and cities, reducing the incentives promoting urban sprawl and urban population
deconcentration. Cities become more consistent incubators and promoters of sustainability
practices. Migration is at intermediate levels. Although increasing integration of labor markets
allows people to move around more freely, improved regional livelihoods and the renewed
emphasis on regional production reduce migration incentives.
Environment and resources: The value shift toward prioritizing environmental sustainabiliy and
associated policy focus on environmental protection and technology development implies that air
and water pollution is likely to be low and results in improvements in environmental conditions
and enhanced protection for vulnerable ecosystems and regions. Depletion of non-renewable
resources is relatively low given the focus on environmentally friendly technology. Still, there
are challenges with respect to the trade-offs between various resources (such as the use of bio-
energy). Food security increases with attention paid to reducing the underlying drivers and
increased investment in research and development. Land use is strongly regulated to avoid
environmental tradeoffs.
Technology: Relatively rapid technological change is directed toward environmentally friendly
processes, including energy efficiency, clean energy technologies, and yield-enhancing
technologies for land. Strong investment in new technologies and research improves energy
access and advances alternative energy technologies. Technology transfer is facilitated by
international agreements on intellectual property rights and other issues.

Challenges: Challenges to mitigation are low because of high mitigative capacity brought about
by rapid technological change as well as effective institutions and willingness to cooperate,
facilitated by a broad orientation toward environmental sustainability in an urban-dominated
economy. Challenges to adaptation are low because of reductions in vulnerability at the
individual and societal levels, and the increased effectiveness of governance and institutions re-
oriented toward cooperation and sustainability principles. Better-educated populations and high
overall standards of living confer resilience to societal and environmental changes with enhanced
access to safe water, improved sanitation, and medical care. Other factors that reduce
vulnerability include, for example, the successful implementation of stringent policies to control
air pollutants and reductions in energy, food, and water insecurity. If and when severe climate
impacts do occur, coordination structures, e.g. integrated early warning systems, security
alliances, disaster relief services, and risk reduction and resiliency promotion strategies are in
place to assist those most at risk.

SSP 2: Middle of the Road
         The world follows a path in which social, economic, and technological trends do
         not shift markedly from historical patterns. Development and income growth
         proceeds unevenly, with some countries making relatively good progress while
         others fall short of expectations. Most economies are politically stable. Globally
         connected markets function imperfectly. Global and national institutions work
         toward but make slow progress in achieving sustainable development goals,
         including improved living conditions and access to education, safe water, and
         health care. Technological development proceeds apace, but without fundamental
         breakthroughs. Environmental systems experience degradation, although there
         are some improvements and overall the intensity of resource and energy use
         declines. Even though fossil fuel dependency decreases slowly, there is no
         reluctance to use unconventional fossil resources. Global population growth is
         moderate and levels off in the second half of the century as a consequence of
         completion of the demographic transition. However, education investments are
         not high enough to accelerate the transition to low fertility rates in low-income
         countries and to rapidly slow population growth. This growth, along with income
         inequality that persists or improves only slowly, continuing societal stratification,
         and limited social cohesion, maintain challenges to reducing vulnerability to
         societal and environmental changes and constrain significant advances in
         sustainable development. These moderate development trends leave the world, on
         average, facing moderate challenges to mitigation and adaptation, but with
         significant heterogeneities across and within countries.

Additional Information
Motivating forces: In this world, socio-economic development occurs at moderate rates on
average, but with substantial differences on a regional level. Development of low-income
countries proceeds unevenly, with some countries making relatively good progress while others
do less well. Moderate corruption levels and limited access to the rule of law slows the
effectiveness of development policies.
Policies, institutions and social conditions: There is moderate awareness of the environmental
consequences of choices when using natural resources. There is relatively weak coordination and
cooperation among national and international institutions, the private sector, and civil society for
addressing environmental concerns. While local environmental concerns, such as air quality,
rank high on the agenda of many countries, implementation lags behind the ambitions. Globally
this leads to an intermediate pathway for pollutant emissions.
Human development: There is some progress towards universal education, but education
investments are not high enough to rapidly slow population growth, particularly in low-income
countries. Access to health care and safe water and improved sanitation in low-income countries
makes unsteady progress, with some countries benefiting from the resulting improvements to
population health and productivity. Gender equality and equity slowly improve, particularly in
countries with more sustainable development.
Economy and lifestyles: Moderate rates of development are reflected in economic growth
patterns, with high growth for some low-income countries. Emerging economies continue their
rapid development for an initial period, but experience a slowdown in growth rates as their
economies mature. High-income countries continue to grow at moderate rates. As a result, per-
capita income levels grow at a medium pace on the global average, with slow convergence of
relative income levels between the bulk of developing and industrialized countries. Most
countries are politically stable and associated globally connected markets function imperfectly.
The flow of information and global access to markets are rather well established in most
countries, although entry barriers to agricultural markets are reduced only slowly. Consumption
is oriented towards material growth, with growing consumption of animal products.
Income distributions within regions improve with increasing national income, but inequities
remain high in some regions. Poverty is a challenge for many disadvantaged populations
conditions of extreme poverty particularly so. Tensions within and between countries
periodically threaten to boil over, but do so only rarely, and never catastrophically. Conflicts over
environmental resources flare where and when there are high levels of food and/or water
insecurity coupled with political and economic instability
Population and urbanization: Population growth is moderate, with higher growth in low-income
countries, slowing population growth in middle-income countries, and limited to negative
population growth in most industrialized countries. Migration between countries continues at
intermediate levels owing to the restriction of labor markets, but there are intermittent periods of

greater international migration when populations are challenged by food insecurity, conflict, and
other factors. Urbanization proceeds at rates and in patterns consistent with historical experience
in different world regions. Urbanization is particularly transformative in East and South Asia and
sub-Saharan Africa. The transformation of cities resulting from the introduction of sustainable
energy technologies and associated design proceeds at differing rates, with the highest rates in
developed or rapidly developing urban contexts.
Environment and resources: Fossil fuel dependency slowly decreases, but access to global oil
and gas markets continues to play a large role in international relations. Growing energy demand
and no reluctance to use unconventional fossil sources lead to continuing environmental
degradation even with reductions in resource and energy intensity. There is less progress in low-
income countries. Moderate regulation of land use leads to a slow decline in the rate of
Technology: There is some international cooperation and investment in research and technology
on providing access to modern energy and promoting sustainable development. However, new
energy and agricultural technologies developed in industrialized countries are only slowly shared
with middle- and low-income countries, in part because of challenges to resolving intellectual
property rights, legal rights, and other issues with technology transfer.
Challenges: Mitigation challenges are moderate in this pathway with a semi-open globalized
economy and only moderate transformation toward environmentally friendly processes. Limits to
mitigative capacity include the continued reliance on fossil fuels, including unconventional oil
and gas resources, limited progress toward a urban sustainability transition, the moderate pace of
technological change in the energy and agricultural sectors, and challenges in global cooperation
on environmental issues.
Challenges to adaptation are moderate as global population growth, along with persisting income
inequality (globally and within economies), societal stratification, urban growth in exposed and
vulnerable locations, and limited social cohesion, maintain challenges to reducing vulnerability
to societal and environmental changes. Food and water insecurity continue to be problems in
disadvantaged areas of low-income countries. There is only intermediate success in addressing
air pollution or improving energy access for the poor as well as other factors that reduce
vulnerability to climate and other global changes.

SSP 3: Regional Rivalry – A Rocky Road
         A resurgent nationalism, concerns about competitiveness and security, and
         regional conflicts push countries to increasingly focus on domestic or, at most,
         regional issues. This trend is reinforced by the limited number of comparatively
         weak global institutions, with uneven coordination and cooperation for

       addressing environmental and other global concerns. Policies shift over time to
       become increasingly oriented toward national and regional security issues,
       including barriers to trade, particularly in the energy resource and agricultural
       markets. Countries focus on achieving energy and food security goals within their
       own regions at the expense of broader-based development, and in several regions
       move toward more authoritarian forms of government with highly regulated
       economies. Investments in education and technological development decline.
       Economic development is slow, consumption is material-intensive, and
       inequalities persist or worsen over time, especially in developing countries. There
       are pockets of extreme poverty alongside pockets of moderate wealth, with many
       countries struggling to maintain living standards and provide access to safe
       water, improved sanitation, and health care for disadvantaged populations. A low
       international priority for addressing environmental concerns leads to strong
       environmental degradation in some regions. The combination of impeded
       development and limited environmental concern results in poor progress toward
       sustainability. Population growth is low in industrialized and high in developing
       countries. Growing resource intensity and fossil fuel dependency along with
       difficulty in achieving international cooperation and slow technological change
       imply high challenges to mitigation. The limited progress on human development,
       slow income growth, and lack of effective institutions, especially those that can
       act across regions, implies high challenges to adaptation for many groups in all

Additional Information
Motivating forces: Growing concerns with respect to international competitiveness and national
security, aided by renewed interest in regional identity and culture, push societies to become
more skeptical about globalization and increasingly focus on domestic or, at most, regional
issues and interests. These developments lead step by step and over time to a world that is
separated into regional blocks of countries with little interaction between them, resembling the
Cold War period from 1945-1990, but with multiple poles. Competition, including periodic direct
and proxy occurrences of conflict between regional blocs, results in weak progress in achieving
sustainable development goals.
Policies, institutions and social conditions: Due to the focus on national security and
sovereignty, government institutions dominate societal decision-making. Authoritarian regimes
emerge or are strengthened in many parts of the world, leading on balance to diminished
effectiveness of institutions. The remaining participatory societies are increasingly bound by a
strong ethic of supporting national priorities. A considerable level of corruption results from the
entanglement of the private and public sectors. Environmental policies have a very low priority
in this world.

Global governance and institutions are weak, with a lack of cooperation and consensus; effective
global leadership and capacities for problem solving are largely absent.
Human development: Investments in education are low and access to health care, safe water, and
improved sanitation is limited, leading to large and poor populations in low-income countries
with increasing burdens of preventable diseases, with limited opportunities for improving the
situation. Gender equality and equity change little over the century.
Economy and lifestyles: Slow economic growth in all regions results from, among other factors,
little international cooperation and low investments in education and in technology for
development. Development proceeds slowly, with high inequalities across countries and
persistent inequality within countries. There are pockets of extreme poverty alongside pockets of
moderate wealth, with many countries struggling to maintain living standards. Trends work
against the reduction of social stratification, with little improvement for disadvantaged
population groups. Inequities are especially prevalent in cities. Consumption is material
intensive. The world has de-globalized, and international trade, including energy resource and
agricultural markets, is restricted because of security concerns.
Population and urbanization: Overall, global population growth is high as a result of the low
education trends, slow economic development, and stalled demographic transitions, particularly
in developing countries. At the same time, mortality rates are high in developing countries, with
many children dying from preventable diseases (malnutrition, diarrheal disease, malaria). In
high-income countries, economic uncertainty leads to low fertility. Combined with low levels of
international migration, this leads to rapid aging in industrialized countries.
Urbanization is slow in all regions, due to slow economic growth that limits employment
opportunities in urban areas, low international migration, and development patterns that make
urban areas unattractive destinations for rural populations. However, disadvantaged populations
continue to move to poorly planned settlements around large urban areas, particularly in low-
income countries, often in places that are particularly vulnerable to extreme weather and climate
Technology: In general, technology development is very slow due to low investment levels and
with very limited transfer of new technologies to other regions. Energy technology change is also
slow and mostly directed to the exploitation of domestic fossil resources to improve energy
security. Agricultural technology development is slow, especially with very limited transfer to
developing countries.
Environment and resources: A low priority for addressing environmental concerns leads to
serious degradation of the environment in some regions. Countries focus on achieving energy
and food security goals within their own region. There is a push to maintain domestic energy
supplies and develop unconventional fossil fuel resources. Domestic markets are highly
regulated and uncompetitive. With little regulation in place, there is continued deforestation due
to competition over land and rapid expansion of agriculture.

Challenges: Challenges to mitigation are high because of continued energy demand driven in
part by high population growth and little progress in efficiency. Use of domestic energy
resources results in some regions relying heavily on fossil fuels. More importantly, the absence
of institutions to facilitate global cooperative action and limited governance resources, low
technological capacity, and little investment in research and development lead to low mitigative
Challenges to adaptation are high because of highly vulnerable human and natural systems;
because global governance, institutions, and leadership are relatively weak in addressing the
multiple dimensions of vulnerability; and because institutional effectiveness within regions and
countries is mixed at best. Low investments in human capital contribute to high vulnerability.
Meager progress on development goals results in poorly educated populations in some regions,
with many disadvantaged populations without access to safe water, improved sanitation, polluted
air, health care, and other factors that increase vulnerability. These factors lead to low adaptive
capacity in many parts of the world.

SSP 4: Inequality – A Road Divided
         Highly unequal investments in human capital, combined with increasing
         disparities in economic opportunity and political power, lead to increasing
         inequalities and stratification both across and within countries. Over time, a gap
         widens between an internationally-connected society that is well educated and
         contributes to knowledge- and capital-intensive sectors of the global economy,
         and a fragmented collection of lower-income, poorly educated societies that work
         in a labor intensive, low-tech economy. Power becomes more concentrated in a
         relatively small political and business elite, even in democratic societies, while
         vulnerable groups have little representation in national and global institutions.
         Economic growth is moderate in industrialized and middle-income countries,
         while low income countries lag behind, in many cases struggling to provide
         adequate access to water, sanitation and health care for the poor. Social cohesion
         degrades and conflict and unrest become increasingly common. Technology
         development is high in the high-tech economy and sectors. Uncertainty in the
         fossil fuel markets lead to underinvestment in new resources in many regions of
         the world. Energy companies hedge against price fluctuations partly through
         diversifying their energy sources, with investments in both carbon-intensive fuels
         like coal and unconventional oil, but also low-carbon energy sources.
         Environmental policies focus on local issues around middle and high income
         areas. The combination of some development of low carbon supply options and
         expertise, and a well-integrated international political and business class capable
         of acting quickly and decisively, implies low challenges to mitigation. Challenges
       to adaptation are high for the substantial proportions of populations at low levels
       of development and with limited access to effective institutions for coping with
       economic or environmental stresses.

Additional Information
Motivating forces: In this world inequalities increase, both between and within countries, driven
mainly by a combination of skill-biased technology development and reduced access to higher
education. The technological development is rapid, favors entrepreneurial individuals and those
with post-secondary education, and leads to less demand for unskilled labor. This enables
economic growth to be supported by a relatively small proportion of the population with high
education, reinforcing the trend toward inequality.
On a large scale, this is seen as increasing socioeconomic fragmentation—between world
regions, between nations within regions, and between sub-national regions and groups—
continuing and accelerating trends that could be seen at the start of the 21st Century. The fall in
inequality that was seen in some regions halts and the rise of an extremely wealthy few among
the merely wealthy that began at the turn of the century continues, with wealth and income
increasingly concentrated.
Policies, institutions and social conditions: A large share of the population has limited access to
national institutions, which focus on the globally connected high-tech economy and operate
mainly in the interests of top earners and businesses. International institutions and power
structures increasingly focus on and serve the needs of the globally connected economy. This
concentration of power favors effective cooperation between nations and businesses to agree on
and implement action if it is in their interest to do so. Vulnerable groups have little
representation in these organizations and lack the capacity and resources to organize themselves.
Human development: Weak political power for less-affluent groups is compounded by fewer
economic opportunities, as they face limited access to credit. Among other effects, this limits
opportunities for low-educated households to pursue a better education, reducing social mobility.
In developing countries with less well-educated populations, public expenditures on education
focus on producing a small, highly educated elite at the expense of broader-based investments in
education, leading to much slower growth of the middle class than would otherwise be expected
and in many cases worsening income inequality.
Economy and lifestyles: The most distinctive aspect of the economy is its divergence both within
and across countries into a high-tech, knowledge- and capital-intensive economy to which the
relatively well off and highly educated parts of the population belong, and a low-tech, labor-
intensive economy in which the substantial fraction of the population that is less well off
participates. The high-tech economy globalizes with highly connected international businesses
and workers and open trade, but many people are left outside this system. In general the absolute
income of all or most people increases, but the relative position of many—in some countries, the

majority—worsens. At the national level, economic growth tends to be medium in industrialized
and middle-income countries, while low-income countries lag, with slow economic growth. As a
consequence, most middle-income countries see their per capita incomes gradually converge
toward those of the high-income countries, while most low-income countries (and some middle
income countries) are left behind. However, there are distinct leading and lagging economies
even within each of these groups and in nearly all countries income inequality increases. The
global middle class, which was expanding rapidly at the turn of the century, still expands, but
sluggishly, as economic gains at the low end of the global income distribution begin to slow.
Support for those in the middle classes falters, with weakening social security measures and
poorly regulated labor markets. The high and middle income groups have fairly high
consumption lifestyles, but the low income groups are limited to low consumption levels and
very limited mobility.
Population and urbanization: In industrialized countries, economic uncertainty for most of the
population leads to relatively low fertility and low population growth, and in some cases decline
with a medium pace of urbanization but with accelerated population deconcentration. In low- and
middle-income countries, urbanization rates remains high. In low-income countries this is
induced by the large cohorts of young people in rural areas that result from high fertility rates as
well as by a lack of promising employment opportunities and increasing security concern in rural
areas. In all countries, the richer group physically separates itself from the poorer population,
moving to enclaves within cities with a high demand for skilled labor and (mainly in the
wealthier countries) smaller towns with highly specialized job markets. In low and middle-
income countries, physical separation is partly reflected in large and growing peri-urban slums.
Rural areas and less-favored urban areas are largely, although not entirely, left behind by these
developments. Migration is high for richer groups, but difficult for low-income groups. Due to
the lack of access to health care and other services, mortality is relatively high for poorer groups,
especially in low-income countries, but also for those poorer groups in medium and high income
Technology: Within the high-tech economy, technology development and diffusion are rapid,
with high transfer rates between countries and firms. However, outside this main economic
system, technology diffusion is slow and people rely more on local resources. Social instability
of cities including increasing economic inequities and diminished governance capacity result in
limited ability to experiment with and implement new sustainability energy technology on a
widespread basis. Informal energy economies and procurement strategies in urban areas further
limit the progression toward energy sustainability.
Environment and resources: Environmental awareness is mainly limited to the direct living areas
of middle and high-earning groups, while little attention paid to global environmental problems
and their implications for poorer groups in society. As a consequence, there is a stark division in
environmental conditions. On the one hand, there are areas that the world cares about, close to
living areas of middle and high-earning groups and where these groups spend their vacations,

which are well-managed and environmentally clean. On the other hand, resource and production
areas and many other places that are out of sight do not get much attention and become
Energy resources are strongly affected by oligopolistic structures in the fossil fuel market, which
lead to underinvestment in opening up new resources in many regions of the world, causing oil
and gas prices to rise and volatility to increase due to changes in demand and disruptions of
supply. In this uncertain environment, companies diversify into carbon-intensive fuels like coal
and unconventional oil, but also low-carbon energy sources. Renewable technologies benefit
from the high technology development, bringing them to competitive cost levels with fossil
energy sources. The low-carbon energy projects that succeed are typically those that provide
large private returns. These well-funded risk-mitigation strategies drive a new era of innovation
that provides effective and well-tested energy technologies, but are often pursued without
adequate protection of affected groups. Those groups lose assets and livelihoods, which increases
their vulnerability to climate change.
For agriculture, the productive areas of the world are dominated by industrialized agriculture and
monocultural production. Crop yields would be typically high in large-scale industrial farming,
but low for small-scale farming. Food trade is global, but access to markets is limited, increasing
vulnerability for non-connected population groups. Land use is highly regulated in high and
middle income countries, but largely unmanaged in low-income coutries leading to tropical
Challenges to mitigation are low in this world due to the pool of expertise and technologies that
can be rapidly brought to bear if there is a strong push towards lower emissions. The
concentration of power, especially to global businesses, enables them to develop and apply
effective climate policies, once it is in their interest to act. Challenges to adaptation are high,
given the relatively high inequality and substantial proportions of populations at low levels of
development and with limited access to effective institutions for coping with economic or
environmental stresses.

SSP5: Fossil-fueled Development – Taking the Highway
         Driven by the economic success of industrialized and emerging economies, this
         world places increasing faith in competitive markets, innovation and
         participatory societies to produce rapid technological progress and development
         of human capital as the path to sustainable development. Global markets are
         increasingly integrated, with interventions focused on maintaining competition
         and removing institutional barriers to the participation of disadvantaged
         population groups. There are also strong investments in health, education, and
         institutions to enhance human and social capital. At the same time, the push for
       economic and social development is coupled with the exploitation of abundant
       fossil fuel resources and the adoption of resource and energy intensive lifestyles
       around the world. All these factors lead to rapid growth of the global economy.
       There is faith in the ability to effectively manage social and ecological systems,
       including by geo-engineering if necessary. While local environmental impacts are
       addressed effectively by technological solutions, there is relatively little effort to
       avoid potential global environmental impacts due to a perceived tradeoff with
       progress on economic development. Global population peaks and declines in the
       21st century. Though fertility declines rapidly in developing countries, fertility
       levels in high income countries are relatively high (at or above replacement level)
       due to optimistic economic outlooks. International mobility is increased by
       gradually opening up labor markets as income disparities decrease. The strong
       reliance on fossil fuels and the lack of global environmental concern result in
       potentially high challenges to mitigation. The attainment of human development
       goals, robust economic growth, and highly engineered infrastructure results in
       relatively low challenges to adaptation to any potential climate change for all but
       a few.

Additional Information
Motivating forces: Two major factors enable a break with historical patterns that showed a lack
of regional convergence in institutional arrangements and economic growth. First, the economic
success of emerging economies and more recently least developed countries gives rise to an
emergent global middle class that has been lacking in most regions of the world. The new middle
class stabilizes global economic development by promoting robust growth in demand for
services and goods especially in cities. The new middle class also fosters the more widespread
adoption of world views oriented towards market solutions and participatory societies in many
world regions. In particular, developing countries aim to follow the fossil- and resource-intensive
development model of the industrialized countries. Second, the digital revolution enables a
global discourse of a significant and increasing share of the population for the first time in
human history leading to a rapid rise in global institutions and promoting the ability for global
Policies, institutions and social conditions: On a national and regional level, institutional
changes are initiated to foster competitive markets, leading – by and large – to more effective
institutions with lower levels of corruption, strong rule of law, and the removal of market entry
barriers for disadvantaged population groups. Social cohesion, gender equality, and political
participation are strengthened in most world regions. As a consequence, social conflicts are
gradually decreased, although the more pervasive adoption of participatory and market oriented
world views creates significant tension with traditional views during a transition phase.
On the international level, countries pursue a global “development first” agenda and increasingly

cooperate on economic, development, and security policies. Regional conflicts are met with
assertive international action, and decline with rapid development and decreasing levels of social
conflict. Institutions that further market penetration and lower trade barriers are strengthened,
leading to accelerated globalization and high levels of international trade. International
cooperation on environmental policies is much more limited due to a perceived trade-off
between development and environmental goals for global, long-term issues.
Human development: Development policies emphasizing education and health are put in place to
accelerate human capital development. These policies, aided by rapid economic development,
lead to a strong reduction of extreme poverty and significantly improved access to education,
safe drinking water and modern energy in the medium term.
Economy and lifestyles: Economies become increasingly globalized over time with high levels of
international trade. The gross world product at the end of the century is very high. Per capita
incomes in developing countries increase rapidly, leading to strong convergence of interregional
income distributions and a measurable decline of income inequality within regions. At the same
time industrialized countries continue their focus on economic growth, driven in part by
consumerism and resource-intensive status consumption, including a preference for individual
mobility, meat-rich diets, and tourism and recreation. Developing countries rapidly adopt these
consumption patterns.
Population and urbanization: Global population peaks and declines in the 21st century, a result
of rapid fertility declines in developing countries driven by improving education, health, and
economic conditions. In high income countries, fertility is above replacement due to optimistic
outlooks for economic conditions. International mobility is increased by gradually opening up
labor markets as income disparities decrease. Migration from poorer to wealthier countries
buffers the effect of aging populations in industrialized countries. All regions reach high levels
of urbanization. Urban planning and land use management play crucial roles, but struggle to keep
up with the rapid migration of rural population into cities in the first few decades of the century.
While urbanization rates converge over time, urban structure and form develop in different world
regions to reflect historic patterns and prevailing local and national policies. This includes dense
mega-cities in densely populated countries, and large metropolitan areas with significant urban
sprawl in other regions of the world.
Technology: Technological progress is seen as a major driver of development and economic
growth. Fostered by widespread technology optimism, investments in technological innovation
are very high, with a focus on increasing labor productivity, fossil energy supply, and managing
the natural environment. In continuation of the current shale revolution, fossil resource extraction
is maximized at low cost, and local externalities of fossil energy production (e.g. health effects)
are well controlled by continued technological advancements in the fossil energy sector. Due to
the strong reliance on fossil energy, alternative energy sources are not actively pursued.
Environment and resources: Environmental consciousness exists on the local scale, and is
focused on end-of-pipe engineering solutions for local environmental problems that have
obvious impacts on well-being, such as air and water pollution particularly in urban settings. On
the other hand, individualistic lifestyles give rise to local opposition against engineering
solutions that affect local environments (NIMBY). Agro-ecosystems become more and more
managed in all world regions, facilitated by productivity improvements and the diffusion of
resource-intensive management practices in the agricultural sector. The resulting large increases
in agricultural productivity and a peaking and declining world population can support high per
capita food consumption and meat-rich diets globally. However, some deforestation continues
due to incomplete regulations. In the long run, land and environmental systems are highly
managed across the world, and there is a general tendency to decouple human-engineered
systems from natural systems as much as possible.
Challenges: The strong reliance on fossil fuels and the lack of global environmental concern
result in potentially high challenges to mitigation. The attainment of human development goals,
robust economic growth, and highly engineered infrastructures results in relatively low
challenges to adaptation for all but a few.