On 24 June 2022, UNU-IAS held an online briefing session in preparation for the Third International Conference on Enhancing Synergies between the Paris Agreement and the SDGs. Conference co-conveners and stakeholders based in Asia shared their experiences and expectations ahead of the conference, and discussed inclusive strategies for integrating the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with decarbonisation and biodiversity conservation. The event was co-organised with the Ministry of the Environment of Japan (MOEJ) and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Japan.
Daniele Violetti (Senior Director, Programmes Coordination, UNFCCC) underlined the urgent need for action toward the achievement of global agendas, especially in low- and middle-income countries where progress has been hampered by health and security crises.
Minoru Takada (Team Leader, Sustainable Energy, UNDESA) highlighted the importance of developing practical solutions based on lessons learned and best practices from Japan and the world to advance climate action and the SDGs.
Tokutaro Nakai (Vice Minister, MOEJ) introduced MOEJ initiatives to promote synergies, including the development of decarbonisation leading areas and the Circulating and Ecological Sphere project.
Emphasising the significance of holding the conference in Asia-Pacific, Kaveh Zahedi (Deputy Executive Secretary, UNESCAP) noted that the region’s progress on SDG13 (climate action) was lagging behind and that climate mitigation and adaptation were urgent priorities in the region.
Shinobu Yume Yamaguchi (Director, UNU-IAS) discussed UNU-IAS contributions toward a sustainable future through policy-oriented research and education programmes with expertise across disciplines, including the institute’s new initiative to launch a postgraduate degree specialisation on the Paris Agreement.
Opening a panel discussion, Kazuhiko Takeuchi (President, IGES) described the focus of the conference. Kaoru Nemoto (Director, UNIC) pointed out that climate change was not sufficiently understood in Japan, and introduced UNIC’s ongoing campaign to disseminate accurate information on climate change in cooperation with the media. Mari Yoshitaka (Principal Sustainability Strategist, Research & Innovation Division Social Impact Partnership Dept, Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting Co., Ltd.) explained the global financial dynamics of climate change. Kizashi Koga (President, Climate Youth Japan) described youth initiatives for climate action. The panellists also considered climate justice, the role of local economies in climate action, and youth efforts on mainstreaming biodiversity.
In closing, Issei Nakahara (National Focal Point, MOEJ) and Chika Suzuki (Co-Secretary General, Japan Youth Platform for Sustainability) suummarised the discussion on synergies and trade-offs, inclusiveness, and youth involvement. Junichi Fujino (Programme Director, Integrated Sustainability Centre, IGES) provided details on conference registration and participation.