UNFCCC experts calls to tackle climate, SDGs


Anjali Sharma

GG News Bureau

UNITED NATIONS, 15th Sept. A group of UN climate change experts on Thursday released a new UN report delivered a strong message to world leaders ahead of the General Assembly’s annual high-level debate in New York called to tackle the climate and sustainable development crises together will help accelerate overall progress on the 2030 Agenda.

The report launched on Wednesday, a group of independent experts use available data and evidence to outline the steps governments should take to maximize the impact of agreed policies and actions to address the worsening climate crisis and lagging achievement of the  SDGs.

The expert panel was set up this year by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the UN Climate Change secretariat to produce this comprehensive report.

Li Junhua, the USG for Economic and Social Affairs said “We must get the SDGs on track and keep the goal of 1.5 degrees alive,” as he presented the report’s findings during an online event at the UN.

He stressed the need for an integrated approach to strengthen synergies between these two global agendas.

The SDG Progress Report released highlights that only 12 per cent of the targets are on track, while over 30 per cent of the SDGs have either stalled or regressed.

Sixth Assessment Report of the IPCC showed that to keep the global temperature within 1.5°C limit, emissions need to be reduced by at least 43 per cent by 2030 compared to 2019 levels.

The Executive Secretary of UNFCCC, Simon Stiell, echoed Mr. Li’s sentiment, stated “Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and stabilizing our climate to build resilient societies are two sides of the same endeavor.”

The report said that there are obvious synergies when addressing climate change and achieving the SDGs at once.

The 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement processes can have positive influence on each other, boosting the advancement of both objectives.

It noted to bring universal electricity access to sub-Saharan Africa by 2030 would require an annual investment of $27 billion under existing climate policies, compared to an additional $6 billion without such policies.

And stringent air pollution control and greenhouse gas mitigation measures can reduce unhealthy particulate matter levels for 40 per cent of the global population, particularly benefiting India, China, and the Middle East.

The report identified key barriers to achieving more synergistic actions, such as knowledge gaps, political and institutional barriers, and economic disruptions. Greater institutional coordination and policy coherence at the national level is a must, it reads.

The synergies are highly dependent on national priorities and contexts, with low-income and lower-middle-income countries experiencing more pronounced inter linkages between SDG and climate action.

The authors of the report suggested that country commitments and reporting mechanisms, such as Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement and Voluntary National Reviews under Agenda 2030, should incorporate synergistic targets and co-benefits.

The report stressed that only 23 out of 173 NDCs explicitly mention SDGs, despite their significant impact on regional and global SDG achievement.

It reiterated that the finance gaps in both climate and development action potholes on the road to progress that can largely be attributed to antiquated and unequal global financial architecture should be taken into consideration.

The roadmap recommends measures to encourage international financial institutions to introduce instruments that enhance climate and development synergies, the report added, the report added.

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