Ecosystems can be thought of as  functional units composed of the complex network of interactions between organisms and the environment, and among organisms themselves, and the idea that ecosystem services are essential for human well-being is increasingly embedded in policy at local, national and global scales. To better understand the provision of ecosystem services in the future, a number of studies have developed scenarios that explore drivers of change and implications for the delivery of ecosystem services across a range of possible futures, and to provide a tool to engage with stakeholders and develop responses to challenges that the scenarios raise. Scenarios have also been widely used in the energy domain to explore alternate future pathways of energy system change.

The pathways research programme in UKERC will develop and analyse a wide range of energy system pathways for the UK, and a major part of this work will be to explore fully the whole systems dimensions of these pathways.  This TPA research project supports the pathways research programme by seeking to build a link between energy pathways and ecosystem service scenarios, to understand interactions between the domains, and to provide information that will allow scientists and policy makers to consider the implications of energy systems for ecosystem service provision and vice versa.

The review is structured around the central research question:

To what extent are energy and ecosystem scenarios consistent and comparable?

The research was conducted using a Rapid Evidence Assessment (REA) approach. More details on the project and the approach can be found in the scoping note below.

Energy Pathways and Valuing Natural Capital: Scoping Note

The primary output is a working paper, which can be found at the link below.

Energy Pathways TPA Working Paper