Sustainable Development Goals

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL 13
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Progress of goal 13

  • Climate change presents the single biggest threat to development, and its widespread, unprecedented impacts disproportionately burden the poorest and most vulnerable. Urgent action to combat climate change and minimize its disruptions is integral to the successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • The global nature of climate change calls for broad international cooperation in building resilience and adaptive capacity to its adverse effects, developing sustainable low-carbon pathways to the future, and accelerating the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions. On 22 April 2016, 175 Member States signed the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The new agreement aims to reduce the pace of climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low-carbon future.
  • Climate change often exacerbates disasters. Between 1990 and 2013, more than 1.6 million people died in internationally reported disasters, with annual deaths trending upwards. As a result, more countries are acting on the imperative to implement national and local disaster risk reduction strategies. In 2015, 83 countries had legislative and/or regulatory provisions in place for managing disaster risk.
  • Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change are responsible for providing a range of national reports on their efforts to implement the agreement. As of 4 April 2016, 161 intended nationally determined contributions, from 189 of the 197 Parties to the Framework Convention (the European Commission submitted one joint intended determined contribution) had been recorded by the secretariat of the Framework Convention, providing insights into the efforts many countries are taking to integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning. Among those countries, 137 parties included an adaptation component in their intended nationally determined contributions. Some countries stressed that adaptation was their main climate change priority, with strong linkages to other aspects of national development, sustainability and security. In order to help countries move forward on climate action, a global stocktaking was established, in the context of the Paris Agreement, to assess collective progress every five years. The process will begin in 2018, with a facilitative dialogue to review the efforts of parties towards emissions reductions and to inform the preparation of final nationally determined contributions.
  • As parties scale up climate change action, enhanced cooperation, capacity-building and access to financial and technical support will be needed to help many countries realize their priorities, including those identified in intended nationally determined contributions and national adaptation plans. Developed countries have committed to mobilizing, by 2020, $100 billion a year in climate financing from a wide variety of sources to help address the needs of developing countries. By 2025, parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will set a new collective goal of at least $100 billion per year. The Green Climate Fund, a mechanism within the Framework Convention created to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices, is an important delivery vehicle for this financing. As of May 2016, the Green Climate Fund had mobilized $10.3 billion.
  • Climate change is already affecting the most vulnerable countries and populations, in particular the least developed countries and the small island developing States. The preparation of national adaptation programmes of action under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is helping the least developed countries address urgent and immediate needs, with support from the Least Developed Countries Fund and the Least Developed Countries Expert Group. In addition, the implementation of national adaptation programmes of action will help the least developed countries prepare and seek funding for comprehensive national adaptation plans, thereby reducing their risk of being left behind.

 

Source: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT KNOWLEDGE PLATFORM