CD-LINKS, 2019: Linking Climate and Sustainable Development: Policy insights from national and global pathways. International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Laxenburg, Austria.
Understanding the connections between climate change policies and sustainable development is critically
important for the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development
Goals (SDGs). Well-designed climate mitigation policy can lead to significant co-benefits for a range of
development priorities, including enhanced energy security and safety and reduced indoor air pollution;
however, if not properly managed, mitigation can also lead to trade-offs. Maximizing synergies and avoiding
trade-offs thus requires an integrated strategy based on a new generation of technological and socio-economic
pathways that includes climate-resilient adaptation strategies.
Over the last four years, CD-LINKS brought together an international team of interdisciplinary researchers
with both global and national expertise. Funded by the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Union, the
project applied cutting-edge scientific tools and models to explore the linkages between climate policies and
sustainable development. Major achievements of the project include the development of globally consistent
national low-carbon development pathways, and the formation of a research network and capacity building
platform to leverage knowledge exchange among institutions. The project also improved understanding of
the linkages between climate change policies and multiple sustainable development objectives and greatly
enhanced the existing evidence base on policy effectiveness. A particular asset of the project are the insights
related to policy designs that adequately account for mitigation trade-offs across sectors, actors, and
objectives. We invite you to learn more about this ground-breaking work in the pages that follow.