Background and issues

An important question for policy makers, in the G20 and beyond, is how to bring climate action into the broader sustainable development agenda. It is increasingly recognised that climate change is intricately linked to sustainable development, not just in terms of joint underlying drivers, but also with respect to synergistic policy choices.

To effectively inform decision making on these issues, whether at the national or international level, science must take a holistic perspective. A central question at the national level, for instance, is how climate and development policies may interact – do they reinforce or hinder each other when trying to achieve a range of societal priorities, like, for example, energy poverty eradication, air quality improvement, energy security enhancement, climate resilience and food and water access? A comprehensive analysis of future development pathways needs to align both global and national perspectives, with the aim of addressing multiple policy priorities simultaneously.

The CD-LINKS challenge is to advance the state-of-the-art of integrated, model-based analysis of the development-energy-climate nexus. This means

  1. working toward the next generation of technological and socio-economic pathways that take into account climate-resilient adaptation strategies, and
  2. establishing a research network and capacity building platform in order to leverage knowledge-exchange among institutions from Europe and other key players within the G20.


CD-LINKS is a research project that explores national and global transformation strategies for climate change and their linkages to a range of sustainable development objectives.

An important question for policy makers, in the G20 and beyond, is how to bring climate action into the broader sustainable development agenda. Objectives like energy poverty eradication, increased well-being and welfare, air quality improvement, energy security enhancement, and food and water availability will continue to remain important over the next several decades. There have been relatively few scientific analyses, however, that have explored the complex interplay between climate action and development while simultaneously taking both global and national perspectives.

The CD-LINKS project will change this, filling the critical knowledge gap and providing much-needed information for designing complementary climate-development policies. The project aims to have a pronounced impact on the policy dialogue, both nationally and internationally: an important outcome of the project will be a list of country-specific policy recommendations for effectively managing the long-term transformation process.

These recommendations will point out opportunities for policy synergies and at the same time respect political and institutional barriers to implementation.

Visit the project's website