The year 2015 witnessed two landmark international events: the historic climate change agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris in December 2015 and the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015. The Paris Agreement aims at keeping the rise in global temperatures well below 2°C with each country submitting its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) outlining its intent to take climate action in the form of post 2020 goals. The set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets are aimed at setting the development agenda till 2030. The two agendas present mutually inclusive contingencies. Both climate action and sustainable development cannot be treated separately as, idea of sustainable development is closely linked to climate change and vice versa and even the developmental policies can be designed to have climate co-benefits and vice versa.
The ‘nationally’ driven climate action plans submitted by parties under Article 4 of the Paris Agreement calls for Parties to design an action plan based on their national contexts. NDCs present goals and targets that each country has set for itself to mitigate its GHG emissions and to adapt to climate change. The NDCs also stress on each countries’ domestic challenges, needs and their idea of fairness. The relevance to uphold sustainable development in mitigation and adaptation actions have been emphasized throughout Decision 1/CP.21 (Paragraph 108 & 109.a) which reiterates the importance of complimentary while implementing policies to achieve multiple benefits. The increasing need to align climate action with sustainable development laid the premise for initiating a study on the NDC-SDG linkages. This report explores the linkages of NDCs and SDGs and captures if these linkages are evident in each countries’ NDC.
For this analysis, all the NDC documents were reviewed using content/textual analysis as an approach. This means that key words were identified and searched for in the text of each NDC. These keywords correspond to targets under the 17 SDGs.