It’s time to change the way we think about changing the world.

Systems Change Lab monitors, learns from and mobilizes action toward the transformational shifts needed to protect both people and the planet.

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We can unlock systems change

Imagine a future where we reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, halt biodiversity loss and build a just and equitable economy. Building such a future is possible — and it's also within reach. Luckily, we've never had more information about what needs to be done. 

To ignite transformational change across our interconnected systems, Systems Change Lab has identified more than 70 shifts needed to protect both people and the planet. Within each shift, we measure how much progress has been made toward 2030 and 2050 science-based targets, as well as enablers and barriers of systems change.

View the 70 shifts we need

We monitor global progress

Together we can spark the radical transformations needed for the planet to survive and thrive. To pinpoint opportunities for leveraging systems change, we track where change is accelerating or heading in the wrong direction, and we identify critical data gaps.

We’ve identified 130 targets of progress across 7 systems. Of these targets, 52 are moving in the right direction and 2 are on track.

On Track Status Icon (green check mark)
Right Direction, On TrackChange is occurring at or above the pace required to achieve 2030 targets
Off Track Status Icon
Right Direction, Off TrackChange is heading in the right direction at a promising but insufficient pace
Well Off Track Status Icon
Right Direction, Well Off TrackChange is heading in the right direction, but well below the required pace
Right Direction, No Target icon
Right Direction, No TargetChange is heading in the right direction, but there is no target against which to assess progress
Wrong Direction Status Icon
Wrong DirectionChange is heading in the wrong direction, and a u-turn is needed
Insufficient Data Status Icon
Insufficient DataData is insufficient to assess the gap in action required


We analyze enablers and barriers

Targets can only tell us part of the story: there are many other factors at play that can spark and sustain progress. To understand the underlying conditions that can accelerate or impede change, we’ve identified 218 enablers and barriers across 7 systems.

  • lightbulb icon with gear inside
    Innovations in Technology, Practices and Approaches
  • person icon with arrows moving outward in all directions
    Leadership from Change Agents
  • document icon with checkmark
    Regulation and Incentives
  • city icon made up of four buildings
    Strong Institutions
  • speech bubbles
    Behavior Change and Shifts in Social Norms

We identify indicators to watch

There are promising signs that show accelerated change is possible. These signals of change indicate where momentum is growing.

  • Global investments in battery storage have grown from $1.6 billion in 2015 to $18 billion in 2022, reaching an average growth rate of 36% per year since 2019. 
  • Subsidies for coal, electricity, and fossil gas fell 52% from $192 billion in 2016 to $91 billion in 2020, although they are beginning to creep back up in the face of recent geopolitical and economic crises.
  • Between 2010 and 2020, global green hydrogen production increased almost 7-fold.
  • The total number of announced low carbon steel projects has been increasing rapidly in recent years — there were nine in 2019 and 51 in 2021
  • About 23% of global greenhouse gas emissions were covered by a direct carbon pricing regime as of 2022, compared with 13% in 2020.

We mobilize action across systems

Explore our open-source platform to determine the state of play across each system, learn how systems interact and discover actions you can take to accelerate change.

  • Power

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  • Industry

    Explore System
  • Transport

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  • Cities

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  • Technological Carbon Removal

    Explore System
  • Finance

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  • Circular Economy

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  • Buildings System
    Buildings icon


    Coming soon

  • Forests & Land System
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    Forests & Land

    Coming soon

  • Ocean System
    fish icon


    Coming soon

  • Freshwater System
    water drop


    Coming soon

  • Food System
    Food system icon


    Coming soon

  • Governance System
    Good Governance system icon (government building with pillars)


    Coming soon

  • Social Inclusion & Equity System
    three people icon

    Social Inclusion & Equity

    Coming soon

  • New Economics System
    New Economics system icon

    New Economics

    Coming soon

Discover data-driven insights

Systems Change Lab tracks global progress across systems and highlights current action against climate, biodiversity and equity targets.

Explore data

Coming Soon: Connections

Our world is complex and interconnected — small changes in one system can have unforeseen consequences in others. In 2024, Systems Change Lab will release a tool to show how systems are connected, highlighting where coordinated action is most needed.

Partners and Funders

Convened by World Resources Institute and Bezos Earth Fund, Systems Change Lab supports the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions and works with key partners and funders including Climate Action Tracker (a project of NewClimate Institute and Climate Analytics), ClimateWorks Foundation, Global Environment Facility, Just Climate, Mission Possible Partnership, Systemiq, University of Exeter and the University of Tokyo’s Center for Global Commons, among others. Systems Change Lab is a component of the Global Commons Alliance.

  • WRI logo
  • Bezos Earth Fund logo
  • Climate Action Tracker logo
  • Climate Analytics logo
  • New Climate Institute logo
  • Center for Global Commons logo
  • ClimateWorks Foundation logo
  • Conservation International | GEF Project Agency logo
  • Global Commons Alliance logo
  • Just Climate logo
  • Mission Possible Partnership logo
  • National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan logo
  • Race to Resilience, Race to Zero logo
  • RMI logo
  • SystemIQ logo
  • University of Exeter - Global Systems Institute logo