Prudent climate policy key to reaching Sustainable Development Goals

More delays with less technology implemented lowers chances of reaching other UN sustainable development goals (SDGs).

“The clock is ticking, and the longer the world delays implementing an ambitious climate policy, the more difficult it will be to reach many other sustainable development goals (SDGs),” says Hertie School Professor Jan Minx, co-author of a recent study led by the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC).

The study examined, for the first time, the reciprocity between climate change mitigation and ten other SDGs and sustainable energy objectives, such as access to affordable and clean energy, less ocean acidification and reduced air pollution. Based on existing scenarios that keep global mean temperature rise below 2°C, the scientists calculated the impacts on various sustainability risks across different models.

A good climate policy could become the key to overcoming global problems caused by air pollution or the lack of food and energy security, through clear signals to investors and stronger efforts toward energy efficiency. “This means that we must follow up on the Paris Agreement with prompt but well-thought out action” says Minx.

Watch the video abstract.

Download the study which was published in the leading journal, Environmental Research Letters.

Reference: Stechow, C.; Minx, J. C.; Riahi, K.; Jewell, J.; McCollum, D. L.; Callaghan, Max W.; Bertram, C.; Luderer, G.; Baiocchi, G. (2016): 2 °C and SDGs: united they stand, divided they fall? Environmental Research Letters, Volume 11, Number 3

Read the full press release on the MCC Website.