A side event on the theme, ‘Developing an Integrated Approach to Implementing the SDGs and NDCs: Practical Experiences and Lessons Learned,’ highlighted findings from two studies on joint implementation of the climate and development agendas.
Panelists from the Governments of Colombia, Kenya, Mali and Mexico shared their countries’ efforts and progress on the two agendas through planning, budgeting and monitoring.
18 July 2018: A side event convened in the margins of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) articulated how the climate and development agendas are being implemented at national level. The dialogue introduced findings from a joint paper by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), as well as a study developed by the Governments of Mexico and Germany.
Co-organized by the Governments of Mali and Germany, the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) Partnership and WRI, the event addressed the theme, ‘Developing an Integrated Approach to Implementing the SDGs and NDCs: Practical Experiences and Lessons Learned.’ Following remarks by Rob Bradley, NDC Partnership, that underscored the learning opportunity, Mathilde Bouyé, WRI, presented an overview of the joint working paper titled, ‘Connecting the Dots: Elements for a Joined-Up Implementation of the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement.’ She noted previous outputs on mapping linkages and exploring alignment between SDG targets and NDC actions, and Climate Watch, a WRI database on NDC-SDG linkages.
The paper, Bouyé highlighted, unpacks how early movers are integrating finance strategies and developing monitoring processes for the two agendas that are mutually reinforcing. She emphasized that national institutions need to coordinate, flagging that ministries of environment often lead on NDCs, whereas ministries of planning or finance tend to lead on SDG implementation. A key challenge, she noted, is leaving no one behind in NDC implementation, as there are few concrete plans in place to ensure that the poorest and most marginalized will benefit from the transition towards a more sustainable economy.
A panel of country representatives discussed how their national institutions have undertaken joined-up implementation. Boureima Camara, Director-General, Environment and Sustainable Development Agency, Mali, noted that the country’s NDC focuses on energy, agriculture and land use. He outlined a roadmap and investment plan for achieving the goals set out by the Paris Agreement on climate change, and underscored that Mali considers both the SDGs and NDCs as part of a single, broader agenda.
Julius Muia, Principal Secretary for National Treasury and Ministry of Planning, Kenya, described how his government undertakes planning processes to integrate the SDG and NDC agendas. Highlighting Kenya’s “Big Four” priorities on affordable housing (SDG 11), good health (SDG 3), food security and nutrition (SDG 2), and job creation (SDG 8), Muia articulated a broader Vision 2030 plan, from which medium-term five-year plans, sectoral plans, and county development plans are “extracted,” in joint contribution to SDG and NDC achievement.
Adolfo Ayusa Audry, Director General, 2030 Agenda, President’s Office, Mexico, lamented that, although the two agendas are interdependent, the linkages between them do not necessarily translate into more coherent implementation, noting that climate change is often seen as being dealt with exclusively by the environment sector. He presented on Mexico’s efforts to change this narrative, highlighting that ambitious climate action can deliver across sectors. He described a recent study that identifies 25 of the most recurrent co-benefits associated with climate action and links these to the SDG targets as well as to Mexico’s NDC. The co-benefits approach to implementation, he emphasized, can reduce costs and bring together different sectors, while avoiding duplication and trade-offs.
Carolina Díaz Acosta, Director for Economic, Environmental and Social Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Colombia, stressed that Colombia’s policies are based on the “leave no one behind” principle, which calls on all sectors to work together. She listed six key sectors in implementation: agriculture, energy, transportation, industries, household and environment, noting the difficulties associated with integrating efforts. She described a new policy that extends to 2030 and addresses challenges by establishing strategic targets to focus on efforts under each SDG, measured by 156 national indicators. The policy, she noted, also designates which institutions are responsible for which SDG, and establishes regional goals in harmony with territorial and sectoral approaches, acknowledging the diversity of efforts needed to leave no one behind.
The discussion was moderated by Pankaj Bhatia, WRI, and held at the Permanent Mission of Germany to the UN. [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Paper ‘Connecting the Dots: Elements for a Joined-Up Implementation of the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement’] [SDG Knowledge Hub Sources]