Climate and development: enhancing impact through stronger linkages in the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
One of the greatest achievements in the global negotiations of 2015 that delivered the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development or Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on climate change is that, for the first time, the linkages between climate and development were enshrined in each of the documents. This was done in recognition that climate change and development need to be addressed together in order not only to avoid harmful trade-offs and high costs, particularly for poorer countries, but also to exploit the benefits that come from strengthening these linkages. This review presents some of the latest data that argue for stronger linkages as well as the challenges of implementation which are not only politically and economically related but also include issues such as knowledge gaps, finance and governance. Finally, the review also presents a glimpse at the pathways that will be required to reach the ambitious global temperature targets of the Paris Agreement of less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels with efforts to limit temperature rise even further to 1.5°C. This provides the context for some conclusions and recommendations for policy-makers, including on methodologies for assessing linkages and leveraging them for greater benefit.This article is part of the theme issue `The Paris Agreement: understanding the physical and social challenges for a warming world of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels'.