Climate policy and the SDGs agenda: how does near-term action on nexus SDGs influence the achievement of long-term climate goals?

Schmidt Tagomori, I., Harmsen, M., Awais, M. ORCID:, Byers, E. ORCID:, Daioglou, V., Doelman, J., Vinca, A. ORCID:, Riahi, K. ORCID:, et al. (2024). Climate policy and the SDGs agenda: how does near-term action on nexus SDGs influence the achievement of long-term climate goals? Environmental Research Letters 19 (5) e054001. 10.1088/1748-9326/ad3973.

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Project: Next generation of AdVanced InteGrated Assessment modelling to support climaTE policy making (NAVIGATE, H2020 821124), Project on Integrated Assessment model-based Scenarios for Sustainable development Objectives (PICASSO, H2020 819566)


The sustainable development goals (SDGs) represent the global ambition to accelerate sustainable development. Several SDGs are directly related to climate change and policies aiming to mitigate it. This includes, among others, the set of SDGs that directly influence the climate, land, energy, and water (CLEW) nexus (SDGs 2, 6, 7, 13, 15). This study aims at understanding the synergies and trade-offs between climate policy and the SDGs agenda: how does near-term action on SDGs influence long-term climate goals? Based on a multi-model comparison, we evaluate three scenarios: (i) reference; (ii) climate mitigation; and (iii) a CLEW nexus SDGs scenario. We find clear positive effects of combining the climate and the sustainable development agendas. Notably, healthier diets, with reduced meat consumption, have strong co-benefits for climate, with positive effects across multiple SDGs: improvements in food security, reductions in air pollution and water stress, and improvements in biodiversity conservation. Such positive outcomes are prominent in the Global South, where regions typically at higher risk of food and energy insecurity and other environmental stresses (e.g. Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America) benefit from a shorter term agenda focusing not only on the climate but also on the other sustainable development dimensions. However, trade-offs are also observed (e.g. increases in the prices of food and electricity), especially in the dynamics of land and the food systems, highlighting the importance of exploring policy synergies: if individually applied, some measures can negatively impact other sustainability goals, while taking into consideration the nexus interactions can reduce trade-offs and increase co-benefits. Finally, near-term action on SDGs can help speed up the transition towards the long-term climate goals, reducing the reliance on negative emissions options. In 2100, the SDG scenario in significantly less reliant on carbon dioxide removals both from AFOLU and the energy system.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: sustainable development goals (SDGs), nexus, climate, climate policy
Research Programs: Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Integrated Assessment and Climate Change (IACC)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Sustainable Service Systems (S3)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Transformative Institutional and Social Solutions (TISS)
Depositing User: Michaela Rossini
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2024 09:23
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2024 09:23

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