Sustainability, Climate and Energy

3D Green Planet Earth, © Chris Potter,, CC BY 2.0,

Sustainable development is about treating natural resources responsibly and protecting ecosystems without impeding economic and social development. While this is a noble principle and political objective, there are often conflicts of goals. The United Nations recently adopted a new catalogue of seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that seek to take account of interlinkages between goals – but also contain conflicting targets. 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 ideally multilateral solutions have to be found at international or regional level and then implemented at national and local level with the involvement of all relevant political actors and societal stakeholders. This complex multi-level governance brings about many challenges.

The SWP analyses in this dossier examine developments and issues in the field of sustainability, climate and energy. They track international and European policy processes, and discuss recommendations for action.

SWP Comments

Günther Maihold
Colombia’s Peace and Venezuela’s Turmoil

An Emerging Regional Crisis Landscape in South America

Ioannis N. Grigoriadis
Cyprus After Elections

Recapturing the Crans Montana Momentum for Peace Negotiations

SWP Research Papers

Susanne Dröge, Harro van Asselt, Kasturi Das, Michael Mehling
Mobilising Trade Policy for Climate Action under the Paris Agreement

Options for the European Union

Marianne Beisheim, Anne Ellersiek
Partnerships for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Transformative, Inclusive and Accountable?