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The adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement in 2015 has established a robust architecture for the integrated implementation of climate policy and sustainable development. There exist multiple interlinkages between climate change and sustainable development. Climate change impacts such as sea-level rise, increased water scarcity, soil erosion, increased air pollution, ocean acidification, coastal erosion, degraded forests, and reduced public health, to cite a few, can impede efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). On the other hand, increased poverty, lack of clean drinking water and sanitation, polluting energy, degrading forestry, polluted oceans, increased unemployment, and insufficient or exclusive economic growth can increase greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and thus exacerbate climate change impacts.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its Special Report on “Global Warming of 1.5 Degrees Celsius”, released in October 2018, states that:
Human activities are estimated to have caused approximately 1.0 Degrees Celsius of global warming above pre-industrial levels, and that global warming is likely to reach 1.5 Degrees Celsius between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate. It also projects that the avoided climate change impacts on sustainable development, eradication of poverty and reducing inequalities would be greater if global warming were limited to 1.5 Degrees Celsius rather that 2 Degrees Celsius, if mitigation and adaptation synergies are maximized while trade-offs are minimized.1
1 IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 Degrees Celsius, Summary for Policymakers, October 2018.
In addition to SDG 13 on climate action, all other SDGs contained in the 2030 Agenda are interconnected with climate change. For example, amongst other SDGs, the clean energy goal envisaged in SDG 7, moving towards sustainable industrialization under SDG 9, and aiming at sustainable patterns of consumption and production under SDG 12, can contribute significantly to lowering GHG emissions, thereby contributing to the objectives of the Paris Agreement. At the same time, reducing GHG emissions and limiting the global temperature increase to well below 2 Degrees Celsius (the overall objective of the Paris Agreement) would pave the way for achieving several other SDGs, such as those related to poverty, hunger, access to water, sustainable land and forestry, and heathy oceans. Furthermore, the implementation of other goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda, such as SDG 9 on infrastructure and SDG 11 on sustainable cities, can enhance adaptive capacities of vulnerable countries and societies to the adverse effects of climate change.
2019 will be crucial for enhancing global awareness of climate change and for boosting accelerated implementation of the Paris Agreement in the overall context of the 2030 Agenda. The High Level Political Forum (HLPF) of the United Nations will address, amongst other issues, SDG 13 on “Climate Action”. The UN Secretary General, Mr. Antonio Guterrres, will convene a Climate Summit in September 2019 in New York by bringing together Heads of State and Government, business leaders and representatives of civil society to enhance accelerated implementation of the Paris Agreement.
To promote understanding and global awareness of critical interlinkages between climate change and the SDGs, as well as to contribute to the ongoing discourse on the integrated and synergistic implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement, the Natural Resources Forum, a United Nations Sustainable Development Journal (NRF) calls for papers for a Special Issue on Climate Change and SDGs.
We invite articles on different aspects of the interlinkages between climate change and the SDGs. Articles to be submitted must be scientifically strong and policy-relevant. In assessing the critical issues pertaining to the above-mentioned interlinkages, the editorial team of the NRF will give priority to articles that focus on applied research and/or case studies, particularly in the following areas:
Articles should contain original material and should be between 6,000 and 8,000 words in length. Contributions to the journal are accepted at the NRF manuscript submission site at: http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/nrf
Author guidelines may be consulted at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1477-8947/homepage/ForAuthors.html
Questions and comments may be addressed to: NRFORUM@un.org