At a side event during the 2016 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), representatives of governments, civil society and academia discussed ways to integrate climate change and sustainable development planning, by looking at both the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change.
13 July 2016: At a side event during the 2016 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), representatives of governments, civil society and academia discussed ways to integrate climate change and sustainable development planning, by looking at both the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The event, titled ‘From theory to practice: Integration of climate change and sustainable development planning,’ took place on 13 July 2016, at UN Headquarters in New York, US. It was organized by the Climate Acton Network International, the World Resources Institute (WRI), Christian Aid, and the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS).
Opening the meeting, Driss El Yazami, Chairman of National Human Rights Council Morocco and coordinator of civil society’s participation in the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the UNFCCC, said one of the organizers’ priorities is the link between gender, climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially with regard to women’s empowerment and addressing poverty, inequality and discrimination. He announced that a special event organized on 6 November 2016, right before the beginning of COP 22, will focus on the relationship between the SDGs and the Paris Agreement.
François Gave, Permanent Mission of France, noted that France is placing great emphasis on inequality, employment and climate change because they are at the core of the 2030 Agenda and key areas for collective action. He underscored the need for: taking a more bottom-up approach to politics; shifting to long-term planning, as policy makers are short-term oriented, but are now accountable for something that is long term; setting the right incentives for carbon pricing; and appropriately addressing climate risk. Peni Suveinakama, Permanent Mission of Fiji, spoke about the linkages between food security and climate change, and stressed the need for integrating the SDGs in the education system to ensure that children have ownership of the process and of the future.
David Waskow, WRI, noted that the Paris Agreement is legally binding and is rooted in national actions (Intended Nationally-Determined Contributions – INDCs) that are then integrated in an international framework, while the SDGs are voluntary and constitute a set of overarching goals and targets that need to be translated in national policies and actions. Since both agreements link the national and international frameworks, Waskow recommended creating a positive feedback loop between these frameworks. He also presented data and case studies showing that 147 of the SDG’s 169 targets are aligned with the INDCs, and announced that WRI plans to publish an analysis of the alignment before the 71st session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).
Lina Dabbagh, Climate Action Network, underscored the necessity for long-term strategies in all sectors in order to create certainty, enable developing countries to identify their capacity and financing needs, and work across silos. She underlined that the key goal in these long-term strategies should be decarbonization, with countries setting clear deadlines.
Maria Raquiza, Social Watch Philippines, highlighted that the Philippines is locked into coal-dependent energy for the next 30 years despite having policies on increasing the share of renewable energy in its energy mix. This situation serves as an example, she said, of dangerously wide gaps between theory and practice and between policies and actions. She underscored that the dwindling of funding for climate change adaptation renders existing policies useless. She further stressed the need to make policymakers climate-sensitive and to look at the women’s rights dimension to climate change.
In the ensuing discussion, participants raised issues pertaining to loss and damage, insurance, enabling fiscal policies and inter-linkages with health in national policies. The HLPF is taking place from 11-20 July 2016, at UN Headquarters in New York, US, under the theme ‘Ensuring that No One is Left Behind.’ [IISD RS Sources] [Event Concept Note] [HLPF Side Events]