CORDIS
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CORDIS

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

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 642147

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 September 2015

  • End date

    30 September 2019

Funded under:

H2020-EU.3.5.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 5 212 962,50

  • EU contribution

    € 5 037 962,50

Coordinated by:

INTERNATIONALES INSTITUT FUER ANGEWANDTE SYSTEMANALYSE

English EN

Coordinated development and climate policies, for wider acceptance and higher impact

It is widely acknowledged that sustainable development and climate action are two ends of the same spectrum. Yet, their complex interplay has yet to materialise in coordinated policy design underpinned by dedicated scientific research. CD-LINKS aimed to bridge this gap with extensive international research and low-carbon pathway development.

Climate Change and Environment
© Rawpixel.com, Shutterstock

The CD-LINKS (Linking Climate and Development Policies – Leveraging International Networks and Knowledge Sharing) project specifically looked at interactions between climate policies and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to highlight the potential co-benefits of coordinated policy-making. From 2015 to 2019, the project team combined research on both issues with a view to strengthening evidence-based policy-making. “Our work is of critical importance,” says Volker Krey, Deputy Programme Director for Energy at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria. “Well-designed climate change mitigation policy can lead to significant co-benefits for a range of development priorities, but it can also lead to trade-offs if not managed properly.” To prevent this from happening, the project brought together research groups from within the EU of course, but also from Brazil, China, India, Japan, Russia and the United States. Together they empirically analysed the effects of past and existing policies with a climate or energy focus. They characterised policy designs that adequately account for trade-offs, and developed globally consistent national low-carbon pathways. Finally, they reviewed national action plans and international pledges.

Insightful results

The work led to many accomplishments. These include: a better understanding of the links between climate action goals and SDGs; and the realisation – while studying 17 global energy and climate policies – that policy-makers do not often consider complementary policies to strengthen synergies or alleviate trade-offs. To overcome this problem, the project proposes a new framework based on complementarity, transparency and adaptability to improve multiple-objective policy-making. The project also provides insightful statistics on current efforts. For example, the team found that currently-implemented domestic climate policies would reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by only 5 % by 2030. Most countries are not on track to meet their own nationally determined contributions (NDCs), and the global GHG emissions reduction expected from these NDCs will not allow the world to keep global warming to well below 2 °C.

Growing influence

Dissemination was a key part of the project, with the team even informing highly visible international assessments such as the IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C (IPCC SR1.5) and the UNEP emissions gap report. By his own admission, Krey was even surprised with how far the project resonated amongst stakeholders. “When I was at the approval plenary of the IPCC SR1.5 in which I participated as scientific support for a government delegation, I was approached by a delegate who did not know about my involvement in CD-LINKS. He told me how he thought that research on interactions between ambitious climate policy and broader sustainability objectives from a project called ‘CD-LINKS’ or similar ought to be used to underpin some of the statements that were up for approval,” he explains. Such encounters might become more frequent as CD-LINKS-related publications keep being released, including one recently published in the prestigious journal ‘Nature Communications’ focusing on what current policies and the NDCs are expected to deliver in terms of emission reductions. Several interactive online tools have been developed, making the project’s low-carbon development pathways accessible to researchers and policy analysts, while a new Horizon 2020 project called ENGAGE is already building upon the CD-LINKS research. “My hope is that the project will contribute to strengthening evidence-based policy-making. Obviously, this is a process which will take many years, if not decades, and a single project only contributes to a very limited extent, but shifting the entire policy process in this direction is highly desirable,” Krey concludes.

Keywords

CD-LINKS, climate action, coordination, policy-making, pathways

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 642147

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 September 2015

  • End date

    30 September 2019

Funded under:

H2020-EU.3.5.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 5 212 962,50

  • EU contribution

    € 5 037 962,50

Coordinated by:

INTERNATIONALES INSTITUT FUER ANGEWANDTE SYSTEMANALYSE

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