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Connecting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development & Paris Climate Agreement

A short report from the Interconnection Conference May 12-13, 2017

Panel of the break-out session: MinR H. Warnken,C. Kabiswa, G.Wambugo, U.Jugert

“We need to make health systems everybody’s business” says Heiko Warnken, Head of the Division for Health, Social Security and Population Policy, BMZ, in a break-out session on forging linkages between health and climate agendas at the Interconnection Conference hosted by the German Development Institute (DIE) in Bonn.

Linkages between the Agenda 2030 and the Paris Climate Agreement

The aim of the conference was to explore the role of state, non-state and subnational actors in the creation of linkages between the Agenda 2030 and the Paris Climate Agreement. It was held in conjunction with the 2017 Bonn Climate Change Conference (8-18 May) in order to stimulate exchange between policy and research. The adoption of these agendas offer a unique opportunity to move towards a more integrated and balanced development. Sustainable development cannot be achieved without addressing climate change whose impacts have the potential to halt or even reverse development achievements. Conversely, actions to address climate change mitigation and adaptation should also deliver on core issues of sustainable development, including poverty alleviation, food security, gender equality and human rights.

Experiences from joint health and climate action

Introduction speech by MinR H. Warnken, BMZ

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) supported by the project ‘Adaption to climate change in the health sector’, implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, hosted a break-out session to share experiences from joint health and climate action and exchange perspectives from NGO’s, academia and policy.

These groups shared best practices and lessons learned which can support policy makers in their decision-making to mainstream climate action into health agendas, as well as integrating health in all policies. Additionally, this session inspired non-state actors to incorporate health aspects into their adaptation actions and programmes.

Researchers from Uganda and Kenya highlighted ways in which actors from the two sectors could step out of their sectoral comfort zones to implement both agendas in integrated local projects. The examples they presented showed the actual and potential contributions of multisectoral integrated approaches to the implementation and attainment of both the SDGs and Paris Agreement.

Various participants shared their experiences of the lack of a more systematic collaboration between health and climate experts. The joint development of national or sub-national adaptation plans is often the first occasion at which these experts come together and a good opportunity for their better collaboration from that moment onwards.

Towards sustainable, climate-smart solutions

Delegates stressed the importance of national and local capacity strengthening, including finance, for actions that deliver on both agendas. The linkages between multiple political processes that address sustainable development and climate change foster synergies and propel the transition towards a sustainable, low-carbon and climate resilient future. There was strong agreement that non-state and subnational actors and cooperative initiatives should be strengthened, especially in developing countries, in order to deliver sustainable and climate smart solutions across the globe.

Lisa Hasenöhrl, May 2017


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