Sustainable Development Goals and Climate Change

Sustainable Development Goals and Climate Change


The Sustainable Development Goals SDGs (pictured to right and below) are in the document Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. From the UN: "This Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom, We recognize that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development." On 25 September 2015, the 194 countries of the UN General Assembly adopted the 2030 Development Agenda. Climate Action (SDG #13) is "essential for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals". The 2016 Sustainable Development Goals Report says: Climate change presents the single biggest threat to development, and its widespread, unprecedented effects disproportionately burden the poorest and the most vulnerable. Urgent action is needed not only to combat climate change and its impacts, but also to build resilience in responding to climate-related hazards and natural disasters. On 1 January 2016, the world officially began implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development—the transformative plan of action based on 17 Sustainable Development Goals—to address urgent global challenges over the next 15 years. 

Here is a graphic of the SDGs; the text of the 2030 Agenda is below.



Sustainable Development - the 2030 Agenda - text




Global Goals Message from Professor Stephen Hawking


GOAL 13 (Climate Action) - TARGETS

  • Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries

  • Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning

  • Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning

  • Implement the commitment undertaken by developed-country parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion annually by 2020 from all sources to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation and fully operationalize the Green Climate Fund through its capitalization as soon as possible

  • Promote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in least developed countries and small island developing States, including focusing on women, youth and local and marginalized communities

[n.b. Bold font is editorial]


MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS - subsequently replaced by the SDGs

The Sustainable Development goals were preceded by the Millenium Development Goals or MDGs. The MDGs were eight development goals against poverty that all 192 UN Member States agreed to achieve by 2015. Achievement of the MDGs and mitigation of climate change are intertwined. There are a huge number of people living on less than $1.25 per day (1.4 billion people in 2005). 


Millennium Development Goals MDGs 

HERE are country reporting guidelines (2013 addendum)

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The MDGs and Climate Change

Climate change presents significant threats to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, especially those related to eliminating poverty and hunger and promoting environmental sustainability. An increasing body of evidence are pointing to the disproportionate negative impact climate change will have on the poorest countries who, ironically, have contributed least to the problem. 

The MDGs and Climate Change (Germanwatch report)

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History - the Millennium UN Declaration (2000)

Historically, the Millennium Development Goals arose from Millennium UN Declaration 55.2, a resolution adopted in 2000. Here it is.

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Video on the MDGs

Video is by Gillian Sorensen, senior advisor at the United Nations Foundation.

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Last edit 15Oct2017