Desalination membrane

Read our June issue

This month we cover desalination, land restoration, air pollution, procurement incentives for electric vehicles, monitoring global development aid and more.


  • As a result of the significant disruption that is being caused by the COVID-19 pandemic we are aware that many researchers will have difficulty in meeting the timelines associated with our peer review process during normal times. Please do let us know if you need additional time. Our systems will continue to remind you of the original timelines but we intend to be highly flexible at this time.

  • Batteries are crucial to move towards a more sustainable energy supply. This Focus highlights recent advances on battery technology research that has embedded sustainability principles in different components and at different life cycle stages.

Nature Sustainability is a Transformative Journal; authors can publish using the traditional publishing route OR via immediate gold Open Access.

Our Open Access option complies with funder and institutional requirements.


  • Poor access to safe drinking water is a major global sustainability issue. Solar disinfection provides a feasible solution. Here the authors examine the potential of five most typical types of this technology, revealing their unique challenges and opportunities.

    • Inhyeong Jeon
    • Eric C. Ryberg
    • Jae-Hong Kim
  • Intensifying food production sustainably is critical given growing demand and agriculture’s environmental footprint. This meta-analysis finds that practices such as adding organic matter and increasing crop diversity can partly substitute for nitrogen fertilizer to sustain or increase yields.

    • Chloe MacLaren
    • Andrew Mead
    • Jonathan Storkey
  • Why environmental benefits are valued differently across individuals and regions is not well understood. Using large-scale survey data collected across G20 countries, this study finds that a few social indicators explain the diversity in people’s perceptions of environmental benefits.

    • Kayo Murakami
    • Norihiro Itsubo
    • Koichi Kuriyama
  • The Sustainable Development Goals were launched as a worldwide governance framework, but little is known about their actual political impacts. This study shows evidence that the Sustainable Development Goals have had largely a discursive influence and only limited transformative political impact.

    • Frank Biermann
    • Thomas Hickmann
    • Birka Wicke
    Analysis Open Access
  • If people had truly unlimited wants as assumed in economics, pursuing sustainability would be a real challenge. This study provides evidence that most people’s wants are moderate rather than unlimited, suggesting that policies limiting wealth in pursuit of sustainability could be acceptable to many.

    • Paul G. Bain
    • Renata Bongiorno
  • While traditional farming has fed billions of people, it is exerting mounting pressure on land, water and the environment. To complement current agricultural practices, we present a green chemical farming concept that provides pathways to efficient and renewable food production by leveraging chemistry and chemical engineering.

    • Ning Yan
    • Kang Zhou
    • Maxim Park Dickieson
  • Commemorating the environmental movement matters, but fulfilling its goals matters more.

  • The protection and enhancement of biological diversity as an essential driver of sustainable development is in need of transformative change. It’s time to make that happen.

  • Debates about the need to avert environmental disasters and to help the most vulnerable are marred by economic and energy security concerns. They shouldn’t be, as the only path to success is a green and equitable one.

  • We need consensus to accurately evaluate the performance and potential of emerging water production technologies, such as solar evaporation and atmospheric water harvesting. Here we recommend practices that would allow a fair basis to compare different studies, and help to align research input with actual demand.

    • Yaoxin Zhang
    • Swee Ching Tan
  • A panel of leading global experts working at the forefront of battery research and applications shares insights into how further development of this critical energy technology can effectively integrate sustainability principles.