Finalized in 2015, the Paris Agreement and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development both represent universally approved policy visions that signal a paradigm shift: from a “top-down” approach of set, international mandates to a “bottom-up”, country-driven implementation process. Limited interaction between the processes of the two agendas at both global and national levels, however, threatens to impede effective implementation. Furthermore, aggregate analyses are lacking to enhance understanding of potential overlaps, gaps and conflicts between the two agreement’s key implementation instruments: the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Such analyses are essential to increase policy coherence of plans and strategies, and to improve effectiveness of implementation of the two agendas.
This paper aims to fill this gap. It provides a global analysis that explores how the climate actions contained in countries’ NDCs connect to the 17 SDGs. The paper, which builds on the findings of the NDC-SDG Connections tool, demonstrates that NDC actions to various extents foster synergies with national development priorities that reflect the 2030 Agenda. The research further reveals those sustainable development-related issues that are directly addressed through climate action, and those issues that are currently absent from NDC activities.
The paper demonstrates that the actions outlined in the NDCs to various extents foster synergies with national development priorities that reflect the 2030 Agenda. We find that a large number of climate activities support, for example, SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy), SDG 15 (life on land) and SDG 2 (zero hunger), but that significant gaps exist in relation to SDGs such as SDG 5 (gender equality), SDG 1 (no poverty) and SDG 16 (peace and justice).
Increasing the transparency and understanding of these possible connections, gaps and conflicts can facilitate policy coherence and
leverage buy-in for ambitious implementation of the two agendas.