Towards a climate-smart and sustainable future

Publication Card: Working together to achieve the Paris climate goals and sustainable development: international climate cooperation and the role of developing countries and emerging economies


DIE and NewClimate Institute launched the joint study „Working together to achieve the Paris climate goals and sustainable development“, scrutinizing the particular relevance of developing countries and emerging economies for international climate cooperation.

Five years after the Paris Agreement on climate change entered into force, the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) and the NewClimate Institute assess the state of progress and the prospects to advance the effective implementation of both the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development by means of international cooperation. In particular, the study zooms in on the climate-development interface in five promising action areas: electricity supply, urbanisation, agriculture, forests and ecosystems, and water use.

Study: Working together to achieve the Paris climate goals and sustainable development: international climate cooperation and the role of developing countries and emerging economies, Authors: Bauer, Steffen / Marie-Jeanne Kurdziel / Gabriela Iacobuta / Clara Brandi / Jean Carlo Rodríguez / Delphine Deryng / Jonas Hanshom / Niklas Höhne / Sybrig Smit / Srinivasa Srigiri


The study was commissioned by the German Federal Ministry on Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and was handed over to the Parliamentary State Secretary Dr. Maria Flachsbarth on 20th September in a virtual event by DIE’s director Anna-Katharina Hornidge and Niklas Höhne, founder and director of NewClimate Institute. Following the launch, the study’s co-lead authors Steffen Bauer, head of Klimalog project at DIE, and Marie-Jeanne Kurdziel, climate policy analyst at NewClimate Institute, discussed the study with the audience in an international expert workshop. In a critical appraisal of the study, Kennedy Mbeva of the Africa Research and Impact Network (ARIN) reflected on the geopolitical dimensions of international cooperation, highlighting the increasing relevance of South-South cooperation. Bernd-Markus Liss, Head of Climate Change and Climate Policy at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), in turn emphasised the need for continuous and intensified exchange between scholars and practitioners, referring to examples from the country case studies included in the study.

Quote by Steffen Bauer: We must support developing countries and emerging economies to shape their development paths in a climate-friendly way. This is a matter of global responsibility , not generosity, and an urgent necessity to stabilise the climate system.


The Parliamentary State Secretary thanked the authors for the timely publication of the study in the run up to the UN climate change conference “COP26” in Glasgow, UK, in November. She linked the study’s findings to the ongoing development policy strategy processes within the federal government and underscored that sustainable development could only be realised in conjunction with effective climate policy. Conversely, strong climate action would not be feasible without sustainable development. International cooperation with developing countries and emerging economies would be instrumental to these ends.

Steffen Bauer finally concluded that international cooperation would be essential for a successful implementation of the Paris Agreement, also noting that there is a high demand for international support in developing countries and emerging economies. Responding to this demand would be a matter of credibility and solidarity as well as in the national interests of developed countries as, ultimately, meeting the objectives of the Paris Agreement would depend on the developing countries’ and emerging economies’ willingness to collaborate.

Explainer video on the relations between climate policy and sustainable development:

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