Photo of Maria Jernnäs

Maria Jernnäs


Which ideas about governance inform international climate and sustainable development agreements? My research examines how different portrayals of climate change as a political problem enables and constrains solutions.

Global Climate Governance under the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda

Which ideas about climate change as a political problem exist under the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda? How are goal conflicts between climate action and other sustainable development goals portrayed and addressed? My research focuses on the logics that inform governance under international agreements on climate change and sustainable development, and how those logics enable and constrain different problem descriptions and solutions.

Addressing climate change is one of the most urgent challenges of the 21st century. At the same time, there are goals for sustainable development on, e.g., reduced poverty and hunger, increased access to education, reduced inequalities, and a healthier environment for people, animals, and plants.  How can these parallel goals be implemented in a coherent way? Are there goal conflicts and, if so, how are these addressed? 

In 2015, two important agreements were adopted. First, the Paris Agreement which is the main international governing instrument for mobilization of climate action. Second, the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). One of the foundational principles of the 2030 Agenda is that the 17 SDGs are integrated and indivisible. At the same time, research has shown that achievement of some goals may impact others, both in terms of synergies and as goal conflicts.

In my research, I engage with ideas on how governing of climate change and sustainable development should be conducted under these agreements. I am particularly interested in how interactions between different sustainable development goals are portrayed and addressed, and which effects this has for how we define politically legitimate climate actors and actions. My research has a special focus on ideas about coherence between climate action and the SDG on reduced inequalities. 

Through my research, I want to contribute to making global climate change governance, and related issues of sustainable development, more inclusive and responsive to different actors’ needs and interests, and, in the end, more democratic. One way of achieving this is through research focused on challenging taken-for-granted representations, knowledges, and practices, in order to make space for alternative problem-descriptions and solutions.





  • 2022
    Post doctoral researcher at Dept. of Thematic Studies - Environmental Change, Linköping University
  • 2021
    PhD in Environmental Science
  • 2016
    Master’s degree in International and European Relations
  • 2015
    Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science


ClimEQ - Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals in an Incoherent World: Aligning Climate Action and Reduced Inequalities

Aiding Adaptation: Reducing the Risk of Maladaptive Swedish Climate Aid through Integrative Approaches

A Science-Based Acceleration of the 2030 Agenda: A Campaign that Amplifies the Voice of the Scientific Community and Makes Sense of Key Insights


Bachelor's Programme in Environmental Science, Linköping University

Master's Programme in Science for Sustainable Development, Linköping University