Synergies Between Climate Action and SDGs: Implications for Multilateralism

22 May 2024 22 May 2024

The world is off-track. According to the first global stock-take, to achieve ambitious temperature goals, 43 per cent of emissions needs to be reduced by 2030 while implementation of current nationally determined contributions will lead to only 2 per cent reduction. In the mid-point review of sustainable development goals, out of the 169 targets, only 13% are on track while 18% of the targets are not even tracked. The goals are off-track due to factors such as the pandemic, climate change, geopolitical conflict, and economic slowdown. These highlight gaps in not just implementation but also data to inform progress.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted in 1992 along with the establishment of a UNFCCC Secretariat. Since the adoption, 198 countries have ratified the convention and the UNFCCC’s annual meeting of the parties to the convention, known as the Conference of Parties (COP) has emerged as the foreground for setting global targets and multilateral climate negotiations. The United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was established by the UN General Assembly post the 1992 Earth Summit which played a key role in advancing the norm of sustainable development. Post the Rio+20 conference, the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) has been playing a crucial role in follow–up and review of the 2030 Agenda and SDGs and meet annually under the auspices of the ECOSOC, and every four years at the level of heads of states under the auspices of the UN General Assembly. HLPF, which will be held in July 2024, will include review of SDG 13 (climate action) along with four other goals (SDG 1, SDG 2, SDG 16, and SDG 17).

Over time, an insulation has set in between the multilateral process involving SDGs and climate change COPs. Since there is much to gain from examining synergies between SDGs and climate actions, there is also a need for enhanced institutional interactions between these two multilateral processes.

With the above background, TERI is organizing an Act4Earth Dialogue with the following overarching questions:

  • What are the possible synergies that exist between Climate and SDGs? How can they be leveraged to align the targets set in the Paris Agreement and Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development?
  • COP is the main forum for climate negotiations and HLPF discusses the progress on SDGs under the aegis of ECOSOC and UNGA. Are discussions on climate within two different multilateral processes leading to an organizational insulation? Through what means can this insulation be addressed?
Climate change
Climate policy
Climate politics
Sustainable development