Linking climate and development policies

The project Linking Climate and Development Policies – Leveraging International Networks and Knowledge Sharing (CD-LINKS) kicked off in September 2015. CD-LINKS aims to study the links between climate policies and multiple sustainable development objectives.

© Yeti88 | Dreamstime

© Yeti88 | Dreamstime

CD-LINKS brings together four IIASA programs (Energy, Ecosystems Services and Management, Risk, Policy and Vulnerability, and Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases) with a consortium of 18 research organizations from around the globe. Funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program and coordinated by IIASA, the project will explore national and global transformation strategies for climate change and their links to a range of sustainable development objectives.

Bringing climate action to the broader sustainable development agenda is a significant challenge, since it requires comprehension of complex interactions between climate and development policies [1][2]. For instance, do they reinforce or hinder each other when trying to achieve a range of priorities, such as energy poverty eradication, air quality improvement, energy security enhancement, climate resilience, and food and water access?

The CD-LINKS project aims to advance the integrated, model-based analysis of the development-energy-climate nexus. The objective is to (i) gain an improved understanding of the links between climate-change policies and multiple development objectives, (ii) broaden the evidence base in the area of policy effectiveness by exploring past and current policy experiences, (iii) work toward the next generation of technological and socioeconomic pathways that take into account climate-resilient adaptation strategies, and (iv) establish a research network and capacity building platform in order to leverage knowledge-exchange among institutions from Europe and other key players within the G20.

The project’s research activities have started within parallel streams, including: an assessment of past and existing sustainable development policies through case studies, a comparison of existing international and national climate change mitigation scenarios, an evaluation of the impacts of climate change and developing adaptation strategies, and an analysis of existing capabilities and gaps of current models in terms of covering different dimensions of sustainable development. 

Figure 1. Overview of the CD-LINKS research activities showing the six work packages (WP1-6).


[1] Edenhofer O, Kadner S, von Stechow C, Schwerhoff G & Luderer G (2013). Linking climate change mitigation research to sustainable development, Handbook of Sustainable Development.

[2] Riahi, K, Dentener, F, Gielen, D, et al. (2012). Chapter 17 - Energy Pathways for Sustainable Development. In: Global Energy Assessment: Toward a Sustainable Future, pp 1203–1306. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.


Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Germany

Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC), Italy

PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency

Institute of Communications and Computer Systems (ICCS), Greece

Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), France

The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), India

Energy Planning Program (PPE) of the Alberto Luiz Coimbra Institute - Graduate School and Research in Engineering (COPPE) at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Wageningen University (WU), Netherlands

University of East Anglia (UEA), United Kingdom

Energy Research Institute (ERI) of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China

Tsinghua University (TU), China

Indian Institute of Management (IIM), India

Higher School of Economics (HSE), National Research University, Russia

National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Japan

Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE), Japan

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), USA

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Republic of Korea

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Last edited: 13 May 2016

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