Climate, Land (Food), Energy, Water Strategies – CLEWs Framework

The Climate, Land (Food), Energy and Water strategies approach (CLEWs) is focused on assessing interlinkages between resource systems in order to understand how these are related with each other, where pressure points exist, and how to minimise trade-offs while potentiating synergies. This type of framework for integrated resource assessments usually involves a strong quantification process which requires the development of sectoral models (for water, energy and land use, taking in consideration different climate futures). The models are then soft linked and iterated to provide answers related to the relevant nexus interactions. These can be, for example, assessing the potential impact climate change (SDG13) on water availability, and how different conditions could affect the energy sector if hydropower generation is foreseen to expand; or, exploring the compatibility of irrigation plans and competing uses of water for domestic supply and electricity generation (SDG6). The framework is applicable to different geographical scales, from global, to regional, national and urban levels. At the urban scale is was successfully applied to case study of New York City for the investigation of water and energy system interventions, exploring the interlinkages and cross-sectoral implications of single-resource management. These are just examples, and the questions and scenarios to be analysed are adaptable and specific to each country/region circumstances. The tool is used and actively developed in partnership with UNDESA and the UNDP. They form integral parts of the Global OpTIMUS (Open Tools, Integrated Modelling and Upskilling for Sustainable Development) community of practice.

Sustainable Development Goals covered by this tool

2017, The framework is constantly updated and adapted to analyze new interlinkages. The recent applications are in Uganda and Nicaragua (2017)


The framework can be implemented by a resource-/sector specific expert, for the analysis of the cross-sectoral interactions and challenges; however, it is preferable that a multi-disciplinary team is engaged in the development of the integrated resource assessment. Once the sectoral interlinkages are identified and the assessment priorities defined, the quantification phase can aim at replicating such conditions through the use of different modelling tools. Stakeholders are required to take part in the review process and validation of the modelling exercises. In addition, the recommendations and opportunities derived from the assessment should be discussed between experts and other stakeholders in order to define action plan based on the findings.

  • Risk-informed planning toolsfor resilience building, adaptation and identifying synergies and unlocking bottlenecks
  • Last-mile tools to support meeting the SDGs and targets and unlocking bottlenecks for all segments of society and reaching the furthest behind first
  • Integration tools for analysing interconnections, synergies, trade-offs and bottlenecks among SDGs
  • Indicators and Assessment Tools
  • Fragility Assessment Tools
  • Dynamic Simulation Tools
  • Vulnerability Assessment Tools
  • Risk, Foresight and Scenario Tools
  • Static Inter-linkage Analysis Tools

Diagnostics, Computer models and programmes, Sets of monitoring indicators and indices, Capacity building, Scenario builders, forecasting and back-casting methodologies, Narrative (storytelling) guidelines


Open Source

Computer System Requirements:

Basic Computer

Developed By:

Partners: United Nations Department of Economic and Social affairs (UNDESA), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)


Eunice Ramos



KTH – Royal Institute of Technology, Division of Energy Systems Analysis

Guidance Documentation:

Mauritius Clews (English)

Training Materials:

Modelling Tools for Sustainable Development (English)