Climate Change Resilience: An Opportunity For Reducing Inequalities And Ensuring That No One Is Left Behind Wess 2016: Building Climate Change Resilence As An Opportunity To Reduce Inequalities
In addressing the relationship between climate change and inequalities, the discussion in this side event will addresses the non-climatic factors that make poor and marginalised people more susceptible, vulnerable and exposed to climate hazards. Through an emphasis on building climate change resilience, the event aims at highlighting the efforts that are required to reduce structural inequalities that undermine adaptation and mitigation responses to climate change, and the need for integrated and coherent approaches in the implementation of policies to achieve the goals proposed in the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development as a way to ensure that no one is left behind. This event will open the discussion of the contributions of the World Economic and Social Survey 2016 and the best ways to move forward in building resilience to climate change as an opportunity to reduce inequalities.

This event is based on the main messages of the World Economic Social Survey (WESS) 2016 titled Climate Change Resilience – an opportunity for reducing inequalities. WESS 2016 contributes to the discussion about the implementation challenges of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by addressing climate change resilience as an opportunity to reduce inequalities. WESS 2016 elaborates on the complexities associated with bringing together the human development and environmental agendas and to ensure that in meeting the sustainable development goals no one is left behind.

Climate change and variability have disproportionate impacts on vulnerable countries and population groups by affecting their wellbeing and livelihoods. Vulnerable populations are more exposed to climate hazards and often live in high-risk areas, are dependent on natural-resources for their livelihoods, and they often lack access to basic health, education, infrastructure and social services. As a consequence, they have more difficulty to cope, recover and adapt to climate shocks, either to slow onset changes (such as sea level rise, increasing temperatures, ocean acidification, land and forest degradation among others), or extreme weather events (such as storms, droughts, cyclones, and others). This uneven distribution of impacts and risks related to climate change is the result of multiple socio-economic inequalities that limit the access of vulnerable groups to assets, opportunities, and political participation. In the absence of adequate, coherent and integral policies to address the development gaps that underpin poverty and vulnerability, climate change and variability will exacerbate poverty, inequality and vulnerability.

The side event will elaborate on the core issues addressed in WESS 2016: 1) the interrelationship between climate change and inequalities and their relevance to the 2030 Agenda; 2) the importance of building inclusive resilience to reduce inequalities; 3) the impact of climate hazards on vulnerable and exposed regions and populations; 4) the potential of using integrated modelling assessments with a focus on inequalities to address interlinkages among sectors and dimensions to inform sustainable development strategies and policies; 5) the policy implications and the need for an integrated approach for a coherent, flexible and adaptable policy framework to build climate change resilience, and 6) the opportunity to further cooperation to promote climate-resilient development to meet the SDGs and strengthen developing countries’ capacities to assess and implement strategies for sustainable development.

Organizers: DPAD/DESA
United Nations