The UN SDGs on Biodiversity, Climate Change and Health: Towards a Shared Agenda
30 June 2021
This report explores the potential for integrated governance at the interface of climate change and biodiversity and why this is key to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a particular focus on SDG 3 on good health and well-being.
By Julia Kreienkamp, UCL Global Governance Institute.
A stable climate and healthy ecosystems provide the basic underpinnings of human welfare and development. Failure to tackle global warming, mass biodiversity loss and other pressing environmental problems threatens the achievement of every single one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with catastrophic consequences that will hit the poorest and most vulnerable communities first and hardest. There is growing recognition that the climate and biodiversity emergencies are mutually reinforcing and cannot be addressed in isolation. Yet, international action has not matched the scale of the challenge and there is still a lack of exchange and collaboration between expert and policy communities working in these areas. This is problematic because responses to climate change and biodiversity loss often have implications for the other, both positive and negative.
This report builds upon the discussions of a workshop on “A Shared Agenda for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on Biodiversity and Climate Change,” hosted virtually on 4 May 2021 by the UCL Global Governance Institute (GGI), with support from UCL Grand Challenges and the UCL Global Engagement Office. The workshop brought together a diverse group of experts to discuss the need for more policy exchange and cross-disciplinary collaboration across SDGs related to the natural environment – those focused on climate action (SDG 13), life below water (SDG 14) and life on land (SDG 15) – exploring also why this is key to the achievement of other SDGs, in particular SDG 3 on good health and well-being. This report provides a summary of the discussion, with a focus on three major themes: (1) intergovernmental action at the interface of climate change and biodiversity, (2) the prospects for Nature-based Solutions (NbS) to deliver simultaneous benefits for biodiversity, the climate, and people, and (3) the interconnections between environmental changes and human health and their governance implications.
The full report is available here: The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on Biodiversity, Climate Change and Health - Towards a Shared Agenda [PDF]