Debate around increasing demand for natural resources is often framed in terms of a ‘nexus’, which is perhaps at risk of becoming a buzz word. A nexus between what? Over what scales? And what are the consequences of such a nexus? This article analyses why readers should care about the nexus concept in relation to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The authors discuss a five-nodes definition and propose perspectives that may lead to a reload of climate policy with buy-in from supply-chain managers and resource-rich developing countries. The presented research perspectives address modelling approaches and scenarios at the interface of bio-physical inputs and the human dimensions of security and governance.