News

Expert Group Meetings Advance Climate Action in Synergy with the 2030 Agenda

Global experts gathered in Tokyo to assess progress on SDG 13 ahead of the UN High-Level Political Forum.

On 4–6 March 2024, UNU-IAS co-organized a series of Expert Group Meetings (EGMs) as part of preparations for the review of SDG 13 (climate action) at the UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in July 2024. Bringing together experts and stakeholders from the UN system, governments, the private sector, academia and civil society, the meetings identified challenges and opportunities for accelerating progress on SDG 13 while ensuring co-benefits and synergies with other interlinked SDGs. The review took stock of recent climate action commitments during the Climate and SDGs Synergies Conference and 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP28). The experts shared knowledge, good practices and lessons learned, and proposed ways forward on policies, partnerships and coordinated actions at all levels. Shinobu Yume Yamaguchi (Director) and Akio Takemoto (Head of Programme and Administration) represented UNU-IAS and made inputs based on the results of academic research and projects of the institute.

Prof. Yamaguchi stressed the importance of achieving a just and equitable transition while protecting nature in addressing the triple planetary crisis of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss. Recognizing the uneven distribution of the costs and benefits of climate policies across sectors, she emphasized the need for framing just transition in a way which promotes inter-sectoral cooperation, as well as the inclusion of careful risk assessment and social protection schemes in long-term climate goals. Noting potential opposition and unintended consequences of climate actions, Prof. Yamaguchi emphasized the role of education in achieving SDG 13, and introduced the UNU-IAS Diploma Programme for Specialization on the Paris Agreement (SPA).

Discussing the role of critical minerals (CMs) in the clean energy transition, Dr. Takemoto stressed the importance of responsible and sustainable development of mineral resources. As the demand for CMs grows in developed countries, it is crucial to strengthen transparency through initiatives such as the Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Standard to enhance environmental and social protections in countries of production.

Dr. Takemoto pointed out that food systems account for a third of global GHG emissions, emphasizing the need for emission reductions across the entire supply chain and evidence-based measures on the demand side while establishing an international policy framework to address these issues.

The meetings were co-convened by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) and UN Climate Change (UNFCCC Secretariat), and they were supported by the Ministry of Environment, Japan (MOEJ) and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES).

In the concluding session, UN DESA and UN Climate Change shared a summary note that highlighted the effectiveness of integrated solutions for policy frameworks, fiscal measures, data and reporting, and the need for inclusive multi-stakeholder and cross-sectoral approaches.

Related content

Series

Riskepedia

UNU-EHS researchers explain complex risk concepts in a short, easy-to-understand way.

28 May 2024

Press Release

UNU-IAS 10-Year Anniversary Event: Synergies for Sustainability

Journalists are invited to an event exploring the key achievements of UNU-IAS since its founding in 2014, and the future of sustainability.

27 May 2024

Brief

Towards Gender-Responsive Migration Governance

Optimizing gender-responsive migration governance to be gender sensitive in both policy and practice.

29 May 2024