Quantifying Qualitative Transformation Pathways towards Climate-friendly Living



Recent conceptualizations of pathways in reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as well as Austrian Panel on Climate Change (APCC) have widened the perspectives for analysing climate change and climate policies. While the IPCC (2022a, 2022c) distinguished between ecomodernism and degrowth, the APCC (2023) combined different disciplinary perspectives and developed climate-friendly pathways for Austria (Aigner et al., 2022). Building on these broad assessments, Q2-PATHWAYS improves the understanding of deep-structural transformational change by innovatively enriching quantitative with qualitative analyses.
The policy objective is to elaborate transformation pathways that are equitable, responsible, resilient, environmentally friendly and socially inclusive by transdisciplinary visioning and strategizing with climate shapers (Klimagestalter) – practitioners from policymaking, business and civil society. This aims at broadening the objectives of and the visions for climate policies by advancing from striving for a net-zero economy to aiming at climate-friendly living defined as a good life for all within planetary boundaries, with a special emphasis on SDGs. This overcomes climate-only policies that remain in a policy silo and puts climate politics at center stage in a broader societal transformation towards sustainability. First, Q2-PATHWAYS develops three pathways that part from different framings of problems and solutions due to different concepts, methods and theories, but also diverging visions, narratives, values and interests: an “efficiently more”, a “planned less” and a “planned better” transformation pathway. Second, it aims at capacitating climate-shapers to critically appraise and use multiple perspectives to better identify pathways and climate actions which are not only effective, but also feasible. The elaborated narratives and preferred portfolio of measures will be the basis for modelling the electricity sector and the macroeconomy. This will help to overcome the policy trap of privileging feasible market and innovation measures, as well as the activist trap of privileging effective, but hardly feasible sufficiency measures.
The scientific objective is to elaborate a holistic approach to societal transformations by integrating quantitative and qualitative climate research. This endeavour combines inter- and transdisciplinary research: First, Q2-PATHWAYS calibrates existing narratives and transformation pathways based on contemporary research (APCC, 2023) and its transdisciplinary visioning and strategizing approach. Second, Q2-PATHWAYS calibrates an integrated model of the electricity sector and the macroeconomy with the help of co-designers - high-level experts mainly from the Second Austrian Assessment Report. Third, three transformation pathways will be modelled with the aim of analyzing the effects of integrating diverse pragmatic and radical measures, thereby contributing to climate policies that have a higher potential to be not only effective, but also feasible.
StatusNicht begonnen


  • Wirtschaftsuniversität (Leitung)
  • AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH (Mitantragsteller*in)
  • WIFO - Österreichisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (Mitantragsteller*in)
  • Universität für Bodenkultur Wien (Mitantragsteller*in)


  • ACRP
  • Klimafond
  • Transformationspfade