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The impact of climate change on the achievement of the post-2015 sustainable development goals

Research reports

Governments are due to negotiate a climate agreement at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in Paris, France at the end of 2015. The impact of the climate agreement on global development by 2030 will be significant and, although it is unlikely to significantly impact global warming or the frequency and severity of weather-related disasters in the period up to 2030, it will play a major role thereafter.

A high-ambition agreement that provides a clear policy framework for action on climate change, incentivises international cooperation, and mobilises additional resources for mitigation and adaptation activities is essential to give us the best chance of achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030. Likewise, strong SDGs will help to lay the policy groundwork for achieving and implementing a more ambitious climate agreement.

This report considers impacts on development over the next 15 years, under two scenarios for the 2015 climate change agreement: a high-ambition agreement and a low-ambition agreement. It looks at associated policies and levels of investment in mitigation and adaptation. The high-ambition scenario used is based on the UNFCCC aim to limit global warming to a 2°C increase on pre-industrial temperatures.

The research, produced by Metroeconomica, HR Wallingford and CDKN aims to provide decision-makers and negotiators at the Conference of the Parties with a better understanding, and evidence, of the implications of the outcome of the climate agreement decisions on the SDGs. In addition, it aims to influence the SDG negotiations as, although the goals are likely fixed, the indicators and targets are still being adjusted. Moreover, country Financing for Development commitments are as yet undetermined as countries are still negotiating their financial commitments to implement the post-2015 development agenda. It is intended that this report will be useful for negotiators and the development community to advocate a stronger climate deal and to ensure that the SDGs deliver climate compatible development in the poorest and most climate vulnerable countries.

Alberto Ansuategi, Valerie Houlden, Anil Markandya, Laura Onofri, Helen Picot, Georgia-Marina Tsarouchi and Nigel Walmsley