Improving regional applicability of the UK shared socioeconomic Pathways through iterative participatory co-design

Zuzana V. Harmáčková, Simona Pedde, James M. Bullock, Ornella Dellaccio, Jennifer Dicks, George Linney, Magnus Merkle, Mark D.A. Rounsevell, Jon Stenning, Paula A. Harrison*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Regional analyses of risks from climate change require reproducible, consistent and robust approaches to downscaling global socioeconomic scenarios, with coherent processes that work across multiple projects and communities. We address this need by developing an iterative approach to stakeholder-based Shared Socioeconomic Pathway (SSP) downscaling and co-design, enabling us to extend SSPs while maintaining their consistency from global to sub-national scales. We apply this approach to extend a set of SSPs for the United Kingdom, developing a broad range of user-oriented scenario products including (a) a set of key categories of socioeconomic drivers and their dimensions, (b) extended scenario narratives, (c) system diagrams, and (d) semi-quantitative trends of key socioeconomic indicators. Importantly, the co-design process outlined in this study was implemented fully online, providing valuable lessons on the implications of the online approach for participatory involvement, stakeholder inclusiveness and representativeness. In addition to presenting the approach and its resulting scenario products, we highlight how it contributes to adding detail and nuance, as well as geographic, temporal and sectoral extension to the scenarios. Furthermore, we discuss the benefits of the approach as a reproducible and robust roadmap to SSP downscaling, with respect to deepening the co-design process and increasing scenario legitimacy and validation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100452
JournalClimate Risk Management
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Climate change
  • Climate risk and resilience
  • Cross-scale
  • Cross-sectoral
  • England
  • IPCC
  • Northern Ireland
  • Online deliberation
  • Participatory process
  • Scenario assumptions
  • Scenario consistency
  • Scenario logic
  • Scotland
  • Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs)
  • Socioeconomic scenarios
  • United Kingdom
  • Wales


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