Interactive discussions around country cases showcasing integration of climate objectives and a range of SDGs through national policies, strategies and programmes.
Prof. Kazuhiko Takeuchi, President, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Japan
With the approval of the Paris Agreement rule book at COP24, there is now an urgent opportunity to focus on closing the ‘ambition gap’ towards reaching the global objective of limiting global warming to 1.50C above pre-industrial levels, including through new/updated nationally determined contributions (NDCs) by 2020, and by scaling up climate action towards both adaptation and mitigation. Simultaneously, the global review process for the SDGs completes its first quadrennial cycle in 2019, with SDG 13 (‘Taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts’) itself set for in-depth review at the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in in July.
Scaling up ambitions is urgently needed. The IPCC’s 2018 Special Report on the impacts of global warming at 1.5 0C above pre-industrial levels identifies the critical consequences of such a temperature rise, including widespread impacts on human well-being and the degradation of critical ecosystems. The report emphasizes that urgent action is needed within the next twelve years to stay within this limit3. Limiting global warming to the greatest extent possible is in itself a human right imperative critical to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.
The next round of new or updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), to be communicated by 2020, will be crucial to reflect the increased level of ambition towards this end. The period to 2030 is also the window within which the SDGs are to be achieved: hence maximizing synergies between NDCs and National Development Plans/SDG Action Plans, as well as other instruments such as National Adaptation Plans and National Disaster Risk Reduction Strategies, will be critical in this regard.