Linking the climate change, sustainable dev goals processes

Linking the climate change, sustainable dev goals processes

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Vositha Wijenayake, Joy Hyvarinen
We are today at a crucial point in global development, with climate change widely recognised as a major threat to sustainable development. This means that the negotiations on new global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are extremely important.
The time is ripe for all actors to turn towards development that is pro-poor, pro-vulnerable and pro-environment. This calls for a convergence and integration of international processes concerned with development and environment. Sustainable development encompasses environmental protection and implies that it cannot lead to further aggravation of the adverse effects of climate change. This is why there needs to be convergence between the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process and the UN post-2015 development agenda, including the negotiations on the SDGs.While we are in Lima negotiating a binding climate change agreement to be adopted at COP21 in Paris, it is valuable to consider how issues in the negotiations under the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) may relate to the SDGs and how the two processes can be mutually supportive. The UNFCCC negotiations need to ensure a global climate policy framework which will facilitate mitigation of impacts of climate change, while building resilience and the right to development.
The post-2015 agenda and the SDGs need to support both climate mitigation and adaptation. In order to help understand the two processes better, it would be ideal if UN Member States could ensure that their ministries and representatives in the post-2015 and UNFCCC processes work together for mutually supportive outcomes. As the priorities of the various international processes and negotiations are so closely aligned at present, it makes it difficult for a discussion on climate change to take place without considering poverty and inequality. And it is not possible to talk about sustainable development without mentioning climate impacts and low carbon pathways. By increasing the recognition of the interlinked nature of our global challenges, the political momentum for ambitious outcomes will also increase.
There are numerous streams of work happening within the UNFCCC process that can be analysed and used to inform and influence the discussions on the SDG framework. Applying the knowledge and expertise on areas such as mitigation, adaptation, disaster risk reduction (DRR) and loss and damage will be crucial to ensure that the development framework will adequately reflect and address climate change across all relevant goals, targets and indicators. These include the goals on climate change, energy, agriculture, forests, sustainable consumption and production, urbanisation and infrastructure, and targets on DRR, ending fossil fuel subsidies, operationalising the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and other Means of Implementation (MOI).
Given the commonalities of the two agendas it is highly necessary that these two processes are mutually supportive. – Outreach newsletter of the Stakeholders’ Forum
(Vositha Wijenayake, Climate Action Network South Asia and Joy Hyvarinen, Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development (FIELD)

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