TRANSrisk will incorporate these assessments into a decision support tool for climate policy makers, both in the European Union and around the world. TRANSrisk will explore transition pathways with stakeholders in 15 country and regional case studies in Europe, Africa, Asia, South America and North America.

TRANSrisk (full title: Transitions pathways and risk analysis for climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies) is funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. SEI is part of a consortium of 12 organizations coordinated by the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex. TRANSrisk is a three-year research effort, running from September 2015 through December 2018.




The international community is moving towards ambitious decarbonization commitments. Meeting these commitments will require wide-ranging socio-economic transitions, characterized by uncertainties and risks that vary considerably across nations and regions and for different actors and stakeholders. New technologies will play a crucial role in these transitions, and careful design of innovation policies is required to promote technology uptake while achieving the desired societal benefits at reasonable cost.

This requires an understanding of how technological developments interact with economic instruments as well as the roles and relationships of key actors in decision-making processes. Transition pathways towards decarbonization must also be aligned with other closely related societal objectives such as energy access, the security and resilience of energy systems, and the integrated management of water resources, land and ecosystems.

SEI’s role within TRANSrisk

SEI is leading research into the relationship between innovation system dynamics and alternative transition pathways. Our approach considers multiple actors at different levels of the innovation system (e.g. consumers, households, private organizations and public entities) and interrogates connections between their decision-making processes and the steering mechanisms applicable in transition pathways. We will analyze the interests and capabilities of multiple actors under different socio-economic and socio-technical contexts, drawing on input from stakeholders in the case-study countries.

SEI is also leading three TRANSrisk case studies in Indonesia, Kenya and Sweden. In Sweden, we are investigating the energy supply and technologies for road freight as a contribution to the country’s 2030 goal for a fossil-fuel-independent vehicle fleet. In Indonesia, we are analyzing the sustainability and climate resilience of biofuels made from crop wastes and residues, in the context of the country’s climate and development goals. The Kenya case study is focusing on the country’s energy access and security objectives, including diversification of supply through geothermal energy, as well as a sustainability analysis of charcoal supply chains.

In addition, we will guide work on the climate implications of expanded energy access, and coordinate two high-level policy events for European and African policy-makers.