Climate Action and the SDGs — Closing Gaps and Strengthening Synergies

A side event of the 2022 HLPF will discuss gaps and needs in knowledge about synergies and trade-offs between climate change and sustainable development.

- America/New York

Accelerated and equitable climate action is critical to sustainable development, yet a stronger connection is needed between these two global priorities. Scaling up climate action presents gaps and challenges — including trade-offs — as well as opportunities.

This side event of the 2022 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) will identify gaps and needs in knowledge about synergies and trade-offs between climate change and sustainable development. It will explore ways forward in closing these gaps, including research on transformations in energy, food, urban, and other related socio-economic systems. Participants will share examples of synergies, trade-offs, and good practices. The event will discuss options for systemic approaches to transform these systems for sustainability at the local, national, and global scales, enhancing synergies between climate action and other SDGs.

The event will explore the following key questions:

  • In what areas do we see the critical gaps between climate action and sustainable development?
  • What are the existing and potential ways to close these gaps — minimising trade-offs and promoting co-benefits to realise synergies between climate change and SDGs?
  • What role can research and education play in closing the gaps and strengthening the synergies.

This HLPF side event will contribute to preparations for the 3rd Global Conference on Synergy between Climate Change and SDGs, and its outcomes will be presented at the conference in Tokyo in late July. The outcomes will also be important inputs for the Transforming Education Summit, to be convened by the UN Secretary-General during the 77th UN General Assembly.


This online event will be held on 7 July at 07:30–09:00 EDT (20:30–22:00 JST). Participation is open to the public. Please register in advance.

Please note that participants in UNU events may appear in photography, screen captures, videos, and/or audio. For further information please refer to Events.


This event will be held in English.


Moderator: Akio Takemoto (Programme Head, UNU-IAS)

7:30–07:35 Opening Remarks


  • Hiroshi Ono (Vice-Minister for Global Environmental Affairs, Japan)
  • Framing presentation: Shinobu Yume Yamaguchi (Director, UNU-IAS)


07:35–07:50 Keynote Speech


  • Gabriela Iacobuta (Researcher, German Institute of Development and Sustainability)


07:50–08:55 Panel Session


  • Facilitator: Shen Xiaomeng (UNU Vice-Rector in Europe & Director, UNU-EHS)
  • Minoru Takada (Team Leader, Sustainable Energy, UN DESA)
  • Sergey Kononov (Manager, Department for Programmes Coordination, UNFCCC Secretariat)
  • Bartel Van de Walle (Director, UNU-MERIT)
  • Melissa Brown Goodall (Senior Director, Penn Environmental Innovations Initiative, University of Pennsylvania)
  • Erick Tambo (Academic Officer, UNU-EHS)
  • Junko Akagi (Research Manager, Kitakyushu Urban Centre, IGES)


Summary by panel facilitator

08:55–09:00 Concluding Remarks  

All times EDT


This side event is organised by UNU, the UN Department of Social and Economic Affairs (UN DESA), the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat, the Ministry of the Environment, Japan (MOEJ), and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Japan.


A flyer for this event is available to download:



Speaker Profiles

Information on the speakers is available to view or download.

UNU-IAS at HLPF 2022

UNU-IAS is contributing to HLPF 2022 through two side events to advance discussions on biodiversity, in addition to climate action and the SDGs.