Sustainability, Climate and Energy

© Chris Potter,, CC BY 2.0,

Sustainable development is about treating natural resources responsibly and protecting ecosystems without impeding economic and social development. Although this is a noble principle and political objective, there are often trade-offs.

In September 2015, the United Nations adopted a catalog of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which take account of interlinkages between the individual SDGs – but also contain conflicting targets and trade-offs. The same year, the negotiations on a new climate agreement (Paris Agreement) were successful. However, conflicts of interest hamper the search for political solutions, as clearly revealed by analyses of political processes in climate and energy policy. International interdependencies also mean that multilateral solutions have to be found at the international or regional level and then have to be implemented at the national and local levels, ideally with the involvement of all relevant political actors and societal stakeholders. This complex multilevel governance brings about many challenges.

In this dossier, SWP researchers examine developments and issues concerning sustainability, climate, and energy. They track international and European policy processes and discuss recommendations for action.

SWP Comments

Peter Becker
The EU Budget As an Opportunity in the Crisis

The EU Commission Proposal for a New Financial Framework and a Reconstruction Fund

Claudia Zilla
Corona Crisis and Political Confrontation in Brazil

The President, the People, and Democracy under Pressure

SWP Research Papers

Guido Steinberg
Regional Power United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi Is No Longer Saudi Arabia’s Junior Partner

Felix Heiduk, Gudrun Wacker
From Asia-Pacific to Indo-Pacific

Significance, Implementation and Challenges