The CD-LINKS project brings together a consortium of seventeen leading international research organizations from around the globe to explore 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 this critical knowledge gap and providing much-needed information for designing complementary climate-development policies. 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.

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.


  • International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
  • Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
  • Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC)
  • Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment (PBL)
  • Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (ICCS)
  • Wageningen University (WU)
  • University of East Anglia (UEA)
  • Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI)
  • Energy Planning Program, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (COPPE)
  • National Development and Reform Commission Energy Research Institute (NDRC-ERI)
  • Tsinghua University (TU)
  • Indian Institute of Management (IIM)
  • The Energy Resources Institute (TERI)
  • National Research University – Higher School of Economics (HSE)
  • National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES)
  • Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE)
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)
  • Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 642147 (CD-LINKS).

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Last edited: 15 March 2021


Keywan Riahi

Program Director and Principal Research Scholar

Energy, Climate, and Environment Program

Program Director and Principal Research Scholar

Integrated Assessment and Climate Change Research Group

Program Director and Principal Research Scholar

Pollution Management Research Group

Program Director and Principal Research Scholar

Sustainable Service Systems Research Group

T +43(0) 2236 807 491

Volker Krey

Research Group Leader and Principal Research Scholar

Integrated Assessment and Climate Change Research Group

Energy, Climate, and Environment Program

Principal Research Scholar

Sustainable Service Systems Research Group

T +43(0) 2236 807 415


September 2015 - August 2019

CD-LINKS Database



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Zhang, X., Zou, T., Lassaletta, L., Mueller, N.D., Tubiello, F.N., Lisk, M.D., Lu, C., Conant, R.T., et al. (2021). Quantification of global and national nitrogen budgets for crop production. Nature Food 10.1038/s43016-021-00318-5.

Liu, S., Ermolieva, T., Cao, G.-Y., Chen, G., & Zheng, X. (2021). Analyzing the Effectiveness of COVID-19 Lockdown Policies Using the Time-Dependent Reproduction Number and the Regression Discontinuity Framework: Comparison between Countries. Engineering Proceedings 5 (1), e8. 10.3390/engproc2021005008.

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