SDG Knowledge Weekly: Climate Goals and Sustainable Development
Photo by IISD/ENB | Angeles Estrada
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At COP 23 in Bonn, discussions and events have drawn attention to the intersection between the climate and development spaces.

A number of papers, blog posts and events look at achieving climate goals against the broader sustainable development context.

The second week of COP 23 is underway in Bonn. Already, many of the discussions and events there have drawn attention to the intersection between the climate and development spaces. A number of papers, blog posts and events look at achieving climate goals against the broader sustainable development context.

The German Development Institute (DIE) and Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) launched a platform on NDC-SDG Connections. This online tool enables users to examine synergies between the climate and development agendas and identify entry points for coherent policies that promote just, sustainable and climate-smart development. DIE and SEI also authored two accompanying policy briefs, making the case for linking the two agendas, and noting where trade-offs may exist. The two papers argue that climate action can accelerate progress towards multiple SDGs. DIE staff also outline how the Paris Agreement and 2030 Agenda can be mutually-reinforcing in their separate article, ‘Together we are strong: The Paris Climate Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.’ DIE is hosting an ‘Interconnections Zone’ at COP 23 featuring more than 40 events.

Events such as Development & Climate Days also tackled the intertwined issues of sustainable development and climate action. Some coverage of the Bonn Climate Change Conference has asked whether the host country Fiji can “deliver a developing countries’ climate conference.” Indeed, while many countries are seeing climate impacts today, a reality that has permeated the Bonn discussions, a broader call to enhance ambition seems to be emerging across the board.

During the middle weekend of COP 23, the annual Development & Climate Days took place from 11-12 November 2017. Background papers are available on each of the event’s main themes: 1) resilience through empowerment and access; 2) valuing lived experience and local knowledge; 3) transparency and downward accountability; and 4) shared resilience. Previous D&C Days events and supporting publications have looked at the twin challenges of eradicating extreme poverty while achieving zero emissions.

The Days were organized by a partnership between the Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre, the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice (MRFCJ), We Mean Business (WMB), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the German Development Institute (DIE).

The side event titled, ‘Linkage between NDC and SDGs – synergies and trade-offs,’ organized by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) on 9 November, highlighted synergies and trade-offs between “certain measures and SDGs.” A range of other COP 23 side events are unpacking SDG-relevant topics, from Goal 8 (decent work and economic growth) to 13 (climate action) to 15 (life on land) to 17 (partnership for the Goals). Discussions last week focused on climate justice, slow-onset events, and NDC implementation in small island development States (SIDS), while the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research organized an event on ‘Catalysing Climate Action, Realizing the SDGs: Science, interconnections & implementation.’ The SDG Action Campaign is organizing and participating in events to raise awareness of the interconnectedness of the SDGs and climate action, with a full line-up of discussions available. Among other events that directly link the two frameworks, the German Pavilion hosted a discussion titled, ‘Systematically Contributing to the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement’ on 10 November.

Week two side events kick off with more intersections among the “silos” that SDG negotiators sought to breakdown, as WWF hosts an event on the convergence of the climate, development and biodiversity agendas, and CIVICUS unpacks a human rights-based approach to climate action. IISD’s Global Subsidies Initiative and Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform are also organizing an event on jointly, on the theme, ‘Implementing Paris and the SDGs’ on 13 November. IISD coverage of additional selected side events is available here.

This SDG Knowledge Weekly is the second policy brief in a weekly series of briefings on activities by key organizations in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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