The importance of addressing linkages between climate and the SDGs and measures to strengthen synergies to ensure integrated efforts regarding the two agendas were highlighted during a side event that took place during the Chile/Madrid Climate Change Conference.The purpose of the event titled, ‘Climate and SDGs Synergy Approach: Achieving Decarbonized Societies and Securing Human Wellbeing,’ was to follow up on the first Climate and SDGs Synergy Conference, which convened in Copenhagen, Denmark, in April 2019.
Addressing participants, Liu Zhenmin, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, highlighted the linkages among the SDGs, the Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Kazuhiko Takeuchi, President, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), announced that IGES and the UNFCCC are expanding their collaboration on issues related to climate adaptation and climate finance.
Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Head of the UN Office for DRR (UNDRR), highlighted the value of a synergistic approach in preparing national and local DRR strategies and national adaptation plans (NAPs). She also emphasized the benefits of collaboration on data collection and integrating disaster risk and climate risk assessments into decision making related to infrastructure.
Lynn Wagner, Senior Director, Tracking Progress Program, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), stressed the importance of: addressing issues through a systems thinking approach; highlighting lessons learned in success stories to promote more synergistic approaches; and promoting opportunities for new collaboration that can arise through the process of collecting and assessing SDG data and indicators.
Shinjiro Koizumi, Minister of the Environment, Japan, announced: a ‘Circular Economy – Davos’ event in the first half of 2020; an event on climate change and DRR in March 2020; and an offer to host the third Climate and SDGs Synergy Conference in 2021.
Panelists and participants also discussed, among other issues: the post-2020 global biodiversity framework process; the need to ensure that updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) benefit from synergistic action; and the need to “sell” the SDGs at the local level by using languages that local communities understand.
The event took place on 11 December and was organized by: the Ministry of Environment, Japan; IGES; the UN University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS); UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA); and the UNFCCC.