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John Kirton1, Brittaney Warren2
  • 1 University of Toronto, 100, St. George, Ontario, Toronto, Canada, M5S 1A1
  • 2 University of Toronto, Devonshire Place, 1, Room 308N, Ontario, Toronto, Canada, M5S 3K7

Strengthening G20 Support for the UN’s SustainableDevelopment Goal 13 on Climate Change

2023. Vol. 18. No. 2. P. 31–52 [issue contents]
Climate change, biodiversity loss and human-generated pollution pose an urgent, existential threat to all living things. UnitedNations (UN) scientific reports, and several others, confirm humanity’s destructive impact on the earth’s atmosphere,land and water. They also confirm that climate change creates new problems and exacerbates existing social and economicproblems across all the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in the UN’s Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. Yet,in their design, the 17 SDGs and their 169 targets make very few explicit links between climate change, specifically, and theother ecological and socio-economic goals. And, on the few key indicators tracked by the Sustainable Development IndexDashboard under SDG 13 on climate change, the developed countries lag well behind developing ones, while progress onmany SDGs has reversed since 2019. The Group of 20 (G20) developed and emerging economies, all systemically significant,comply with their own climate change goals at an average of just 69%. Given its membership profile and vast resources,the G20 has great potential to reinforce progress toward the SDGs. By improving its own performance on climate change, theG20 can help the UN and its members spur progress on SDG 13 on climate change, and thus on other closely related SDGs.The G20 leaders at their summits should therefore make far more ambitious commitments on climate change, explicitly linkthem to sustainable development, SDG 13, other socio-economic SDGs, and the UN’s climate conference. They shouldalso foster more synergies between the UN’s SDG high level meetings, UN climate summits, and special climate summits,and recognize in their G20 communiqués the climate-related, shock-activated vulnerabilities of, and their socio-economicimpacts on, countries in and beyond the G20.

This article was submitted 07.02.2022
Citation: Kirton J., Warren B. (2023) Strengthening G20 Support for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal13 on Climate Change. International Organisations Research Journal, vol. 18, no 2, pp. 31–52 (in English).
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