Linking Climate and Development Policies – Leveraging International Networks and Knowledge Sharing

CD-LINKS is a project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme which aims at exploring the complex interplay between climate action and development while simultaneously taking both global and national perspectives. It will fill this critical knowledge gap and provide much-needed information for designing complementary climate-development policies.

General Objectives

An important question for policymakers, in the G20 and beyond, is how to bring climate action into the broader sustainable development agenda. It is increasingly recognized 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. On the one hand, climate change mitigation policy, if well designed, can lead to significant co-benefits for development. On the other hand, climate impacts and risks have been strongly identified as ‘threat multipliers’.To effectively inform decision making on these issues, whether at the national or international level, science must take an integrated and 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.CD-LINKS has four overarching goals: (i) to gain an improved understanding of the linkages between climate change policies (mitigation/adaptation) and multiple sustainable development objectives; (ii) to broaden the evidence base in the area of policy effectiveness by exploring past and current policy experiences; (iii) to develop the next generation of globally consistent, national low-carbon development pathways, and (iv) to 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.

Expected Results

Through six highly integrated work packages – from empirical research to model and scenario development – CD-LINKS will advance the state-of-the-art of climate-development policy analysis and modelling in a number of areas. 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.