Experts draw strategies to address climate crises and sustainable development Guardian Nigeria News

Participants in a climate education and tree planting exercise in Enugu State

A groundbreaking report released by the United Nations last week by a group of independent experts sets out steps governments must take to maximize the impact of policies and actions by tackling the climate and sustainable development crises.

The report indicated that with the proportion of the world’s population expected to live in cities to 70 percent by 2050, with about 56 percent of the world’s population living in 2050, the move towards sustainable cities (Sustainable Development Goals 11) represents a major challenge and opportunity to advance the climate. . Action at the city level, especially in the Global South.

There are many examples of cities around the world where these synergies have brought significant benefits in sustainable transportation, sustainable use of urban space, reduced greenhouse gases, reduced air pollution, and improved health.

The report called for greater institutional coordination and policy coherence across sectors and departments at the national level, to better integrate sustainable development goals and develop and implement climate policies.

He also recommended that the governance and policy frameworks of both the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda need to be changed to align climate action with the Sustainable Development Goals.

The expert group suggested that country engagement and reporting mechanisms, such as the nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement and the voluntary national reviews conducted under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, should include synergistic objectives or co-benefits.

The report also recommended that policymakers have stronger links with researchers who study climate and development, who can evaluate potential synergies. Addressing the significant disconnect between scientific evidence and applied policy actions can ensure that the best scientifically validated policies are agreed upon and implemented.

The group, co-led by Luis Gomez Echeverry, honorary researcher at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, and Heide Hackmann, director of the Future of Africa at the University of Pretoria, was convened earlier this year by the UN Department of Economic Affairs. Social Affairs (UN DESA) and the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC) to produce this report, the first of its kind.

According to the report, factors hindering more synergistic action revolve around knowledge gaps, political and institutional arrangements, and economic turbulence. In particular, major barriers include the lack of funding to analyze and finance more integrated policy actions; institutional inertia that places climate and development policies into separate silos; the dominance of top-down policy making; A general lack of data and indicators, and a lack of understanding of the value of synergies and the ability to identify and implement them.

Among the examples cited, achieving universal access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030 (SDG 7) will require an annual investment of $27 billion under existing climate policies, but an additional $6 billion without climate policies.

“Maximizing synergies between climate action and the Sustainable Development Goals has never been more important,” said Li Junhua, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs. “We must put the Sustainable Development Goals on track and keep the 1.5 degree target alive,” he said, also stressing that “an integrated approach that seeks to enhance synergies between these two global agendas is critical to achieving this end.”

“Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and stabilizing our climate to build resilient societies are two sides of the same endeavour,” said Simon Steele, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. “I am confident that the work of the expert group will catalyze additional efforts that can lead to win-win outcomes for both climate action and the SDG agenda and move us towards a just, equitable and sustainable world.”

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