SDG 13: Climate Action's Ties to Other SDGs

H. E. Paul Narvaez, President of the Economic and Social Council,


Distinguished delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Climate action underpins and is the cornerstone for achieving our ambitious sustainable development goals and targets. Addressing climate change is about equity and inclusiveness, today and tomorrow, addressing both opportunity and challenges to poverty reduction, including energy poverty, and economic development, but also climate related health, disasters, and environmental impacts.

Firstly, climate action directly impacts poverty alleviation, protects livelihoods, and safeguards and restores ecosystem services key to well-being. Vulnerable communities, often the hardest hit by climate impacts, stand to benefit significantly from initiatives aimed at resilience building and adaptation. Climate related impacts such as hurricanes and flooding cause huge losses of income, livelihoods and impact the poor. Through restoration and climate action, impacts on marine, terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems that cause species losses and declines in key ecosystem services can be addressed. These climate-driven impacts on ecosystems are causing measurable economic and livelihood losses around the world. By integrating climate resilience into development planning, we create opportunities for sustainable economic growth and improved livelihoods. We also reduce the fiscal strain on public coffers from dealing with recurrent climate shocks.

Secondly, climate action provides opportunity for sustainable development. Investing in renewable energy and clean technologies not only mitigates greenhouse gas emissions but also drives innovation and economic diversification. Transitioning from fossil fuels to renewables creates new employment opportunities in green sectors, lifting communities out of poverty. Clean energy will reduce the deadly air pollution that shrouds our cities and associated health impacts and improve health, productivity, livelihoods, security, and educational achievements. It will lighten the burden on women and children. Enhancing access to clean energy and sustainable livelihoods empowers marginalized groups, fostering social cohesion and reducing inequalities. Working to harness minerals, key to the clean energy transition, for sustainable and equitable development of countries and communities is an opportunity and central to a just energy transition.

Thirdly, climate action and sustainable development need finance and investments and partnerships. Mobilizing public and private investments for achieving both climate and development goals is critical. This also requires addressing high interest rates and capital costs, high fossil fuel subsidies and the burden of debt servicing that many energy-poor and climate vulnerable countries face. Redirecting subsidies from fossil fuels to renewables supports both environmental sustainability and economic equity, ensuring resources benefit those most in need. Collaborations between governments, international organizations, businesses, and civil society can amplify our collective impact. Some examples include: a greater focus on intergenerational issues, risk and vulnerability and strategic foresight analysis, and creating incentives for greater private effort in socially valuable technologies.

Looking ahead to 2025, revised and updated Nationally Determined Contributions, can propel countries towards a resilient and equitable world. The United Nations Environment Programme stands ready to support this journey.

Thank you.

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