Letter: Climate Change in the Sustainable Development Goals

By Citizens for Public Justice

In June 2014, CPJ signed on to a letter supporting the inclusion of climate change in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The letter was signed by 178 organizations from more than 50 countries. CPJ was one of six Canadian organizations to sign the letter, including the Canadian Council for International Co-operation and Climate Action Network Canada, of which CPJ is a member.

The letter was sent to the Open Working Group (OWG)  ahead of their 12th session from June 16 – 20, 2014. The OWG was established by the UN General Assembly to develop the SDGs. In 2015, the SDGs will replace the Millennium Development Goals.

Supporting a strong and visible representation of climate change in the SDGs

To: Co-chairs and members of the Open Working Group (OWG) on SDGs
Cc: Amina J. Mohammed, Special Adviser on post-2015 to the UN Secretary General

12 June 2014

Your Excellencies,
Dear Members of the OWG on SDGs,

We are writing to thank you for your ongoing efforts to ensure that climate change is appropriately reflected in the latest version of the focus area document. We believe that climate change is an existential threat to humankind and global efforts to overcome poverty and achieve sustainable development. Therefore, we also believe that climate change must be visibly reflected in the future Sustainable Development Goal framework.

A SDG framework without climate change action as a strong backbone would not be sustainable or credible, nor would it help to lay the foundations for future international action and cooperation on sustainable development and poverty eradication. Therefore, the framework must address climate change in a manner that recognises the urgency and importance of dealing with the most fundamental challenge of our time. This includes targets under relevant goals as well as a separate climate change goal.

Ahead of the next two meetings of the Open Working Group, we are asking for your continued commitment to maintain and increase the visibility of climate change in the suggested goals and targets, especially as difficult choices (and necessary sacrifices) clearly lie ahead as the overall number of goals and targets are reduced. Specifically, the post-2015 development framework must contain a coherent set of goals and targets which a) support the achievement of poverty eradication and sustainable development b) promote human rights and build community resilience through adaptation to the harmful impacts of climate change, and c) contribute to a global low-carbon development pathway and to keeping global warming below dangerous levels through significant emissions reductions, We believe that a robust framework of this nature will help to support the scale of ambition needed to achieve the UNFCCC’s aims and help to ensure the delivery of a strong climate deal at COP21 in Paris in 2015.

Yours sincerely,

See all 178 signatories here.


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