Despite a strong connection between the Paris Agreement and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, climate change mitigation actions and sustainable development objectives are often not aligned efficiently, causing conflicts between the objectives. The thesis "Conflicts of Climate Change Mitigation Actions with the Sustainable Development Goals" by Jan-Hendrik Scheyl examines this topic and gives a systematic overview of conflicts. Through literature research in the "Web of Science" he found about 530 articles that revealed 63 conflicts on three renewable energy technologies with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
His overview shows that conflicts are different for the technologies of solar energy, wind energy and hydropower. "Although only a partial consideration of all possible conflicts is feasible within the framework of a master's thesis, it was shown that conflicts in connection with the loss of biodiversity and the destruction of natural habitats (SDG 15) and social inequalities (SDG 10) are the most frequent," says Jan-Hendrik Scheyl.
His methodology can also be transferred to other areas, such as the transport or industrial sector, in order to identify further conflicts of objectives. His findings suggest that site selection and the decision-making process on the construction of renewable energy projects are crucial steps to avoid conflicts with SDGs. "The conflicts are numerous and individual, so in the next step I would like to analyse the individual local conflicts I have identified in more detail and generate a development of possible target conflict avoidance strategies. I hope that science, business, and politics will jointly address the topic. Only in this way conflicts can be avoided in the long term," adds Scheyl.
The thesis has been published in the series "Wuppertaler Studienarbeiten zur nachhaltigen Entwicklung". He wrote the thesis in cooperation with the Wuppertal Institute and the University of Cologne in the International Master of Environmental Sciences (IMES) programme and is available under the following link.