The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the UNFCCC Secretariat convened the Fourth Global Conference on Strengthening Synergies between the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda. The Conference assessed progress made against recommendations from the previous conferences. Its outcomes will feed into the SDG Summit in September and the UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP 28) later this year.

According to the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) summary of the meeting, the Conference featured high-level speakers who underscored the co-benefits of synergistic action.

Opening the Conference, Li Junhua, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, DESA, drew attention to Group of 7 (G7) and Group of 20 (G20) outcomes related to synergies. Simon Stiell, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, noted opportunities presented by the Food Systems Stocktaking Moment, the SDG Summit, and the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Ambition Summit. 

UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Csaba Kőrösi said disregarding obvious synergies wastes time and money and called for breaking down barriers between policymakers and the scientific community.

A panel discussion on policy options for the way forward, emphasized that synergies between the Paris Agreement on climate change and the SDGs inform the host government’s approach to COP 28 and its four priorities: fast-tracking the energy transition; fixing climate finance; focusing on lives and livelihoods; and inclusivity and stakeholder engagement.

Speakers also highlighted:

  • opportunities for Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) to enhance transparency and accountability in government and private sector action;
  • the importance of a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach; and
  • action at the national and multilateral levels.

Kazuhiko Takeuchi, President, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), reported on progress in implementing the recommendations of the Third Global Synergies Conference. He called for enhanced integrative planning and for forging links between Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs), and Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs).

Parallel discussions focused on:

  • delivering a just transition, including through inclusive decision making and by ensuring all stakeholders are at the table;
  • climate action as an avenue for social and economic change, highlighting the need for inclusive processes, bottom-up and sectoral approaches, and early warning systems for disaster avoidance and preparedness; and
  • finance and partnerships, including the need to upscale financing mechanisms, leverage existing mechanisms, redefine how banks measure and manage risk, and harness blended and private finance.

The Fourth Global Conference convened on 16 July 2023 in New York, US, as a special event of the 2023 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). [ENB Coverage of Fourth Global Conference on Strengthening Synergies between the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda]