Heat waves, wildfires and floods have brought home the reality of climate change, yet the world is missing key climate protection targets. Meanwhile, even before the pandemic, countries were lagging on key Sustainable Development goals, and are now slipping further behind. And then came the huge human and financial costs of the pandemic.
So we are faced with a double dilemma: we are missing urgent targets yet have fewer resources to reach them. What to do?
In this lecture Joseph Alcamo presents some ideas for action contained in a new report to COP 26 delegates from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on UN Global Goals. The report was written and produced by Sussex sustainability researchers.
The report argues that one way to help get back on track is to align the climate and SDG agendas by exploiting the fact that many policies advance both climate goals and SDGs. In view of this, the report compiles a catalogue of dozens of such policies. It presents evidence that implementing such joint policies could be an efficient way to achieve multiple goals, save resources, and have resources left over to do more.
But the report also argues that efficient policies are not necessarily equitable or just. As a safeguard against negative side effects, the report recommends a set of 21 guidelines for policymakers and stakeholders to help them incorporate equity considerations into joint climate-SDG policies. The guidelines amount to a stress test to deter these policies from causing injustices while they help us advance both climate goals and the SDGs in the face of scarce resources.
- Martin Todd, Professor of Climate Change, University of Sussex,
- Joseph Alcamo, Professor of Environmental Systems Science, School of Global Studies (Geography); Director of the Sussex Sustainability Research Programme (SSRP)