Despite only 10 years remaining to achieve the 2030 Agenda, no country is on track to meet all 17 SDGs. Taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, through SDG 13 “Climate action” and in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, remains the single biggest challenge to pursuing development. Importantly, growing evidence demonstrates that climate action necessitates a transition addressing all dimensions of sustainability. The need to address distributional impacts and inequality emerges as a critical requirement for climate action and vice versa.

Our research thus far has confirmed that distributional consequences of both climate action and climate change clearly point to the potential goal conflicts and/or untapped synergies between climate action and reducing inequalities. Thus far, connections made at a rhetorical level have not translated into strategies and practices of strong policy coherence between climate change and sustainable development.

Aims and objectives

The overarching aim of this programme is to analyse conditions for coherence between climate change, reducing inequality and other SDGs when implemented nationally and to provide tools to identify synergies and make transparent trade-offs in different socio-economic and political contexts. This programme includes a comparative study of nine country cases: Australia, Fiji, Colombia, Sweden, Germany, Kenya, Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka. Furthermore, the national-level research is complemented with global and regional (the European Union) cross-country quantitative analysis, as well as analysis at the sub-national level. We also aim to develop a novel policy coherence visualisation tool to aid decision-makers implementing the Paris Agreement and the 17 SDGs.

The programme seeks to enhance effectiveness of policy coherence efforts, both nationally and globally, for successful implementation of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda. Overall, we intend to make policy recommendations both on novel and coherent policy packages and on process design to enable cross-country policy learning to avoid increasing inequality as an outcome of incoherence.

SEI team

Core partners team

  • Björn-Ola Linnér (LiU)
  • Sara Gottenhuber (LiU)
  • Sander Chan (Global Center on Adaptation)
  • Ines Dombrowsky (DIE)
  • Gabriela Iacobuta (DIE)
  • Marjanneke Vijge (UU)

Local partners team

  • Jonathan Pickering (University of Canberra)
  • Priyatama Singh (University of Fiji)
  • Karin Fernando (CEPA)
  • Saliem Fakir (WWF)
  • Cecilia Therese T. Guiao (University of Philippines)