Focus 15: Climate


Climate change poses a grave threat to sustainable development and poverty eradication. Regard must be paid to the principles of the UNFCCC, including that of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, and to supporting and urging greater ambition in the ongoing negotiations towards a strong and effective agreement in 2015. Some areas to be considered include:

  1. reaffirming and reinforcing existing international commitments, such as limiting the increase in global average temperature through equitable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions;

  2. building resilience and adaptive capacity in all vulnerable countries;

  3. introducing, inter alia, economic incentives for investments in low-carbon solutions in infrastructure and industry;

  4. developing low-carbon, climate-resilient development strategies and plans;

  5. reducing the damage caused by climate-induced and other natural hazards through disaster risk reduction;

  6. improving education and awareness raising on climate change; and

  7. appropriate means of implementation*.


  • The urgency of action on climate change and disaster risk reduction was widely acknowledged, and for a number of countries climate change represents an existential threat.

  • Climate change poses a threat to sustainable development, putting at risk development gains and, among other things, threatening food security, intensifying water scarcity and flooding as well as worsening sea-level rise. The exposure of SIDS, LDCs – including those in Africa – as well as other countries to the impacts of climate change was highlighted. The poorest are most at risk from disasters and disasters intensify poverty.

  • There was wide support for addressing climate change as a cross-cutting issue framed in terms of sustainable development, without a stand-alone goal, and while respecting the role of and commitments under the UNFCCC, including its principles. In this regard, a particular focus was laid on the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities; however, the view was also expressed that CBDR has evolved over time.

  • Several supported targets that reflect the challenges of addressing climate change in terms of building resilient infrastructure and human settlements, protecting forests, sustainable energy, food security, water management, SCP, and promoting low carbon and climate resilient development paths. Some favoured inclusion of the below 2⁰C warming target; others considered that this target could not be referenced in isolation of the UNFCCC context.

  • Means of implementation were strongly emphasized by many delegations.The inter-connected nature of risks posed by climate change and disaster risks was recognized. Strong actions on climate change mitigation and adaptation are thus among the most effective means of reducing disaster risks. Without such actions, the frequency and intensity of, and the vulnerability to, disasters will only intensify in coming years and decades.

  • Disaster losses have major impact, but the tools to address them are available, in particular the Hyogo Framework for Action. Mention was made of the need for an ambitious second Hyogo Framework for Action.

  • We are forced to think and act through managing systems to reduce disaster risks and build resilience. In this context, there is need to consider risk prevention through three channels: development pathways that minimise risk generation; risk reduction; and fostering resilience by improving the ability to deal with shocks of all kinds. Some developing countries have valuable lessons to offer in regard to resilience building.

  • Proposals were made for targets on disaster risk reduction including to reduce by a significant degree the severity of impacts as measured for example by loss of lives and economic losses.

  • There is a need for a range of solutions, including access to technology and information systems for disaster management, and enhanced stakeholder capacities at all levels.

  • The role of good governance and the value of incorporating lessons learned from indigenous knowledge were recognized.

The above was taken from the United Nations Sustainability web site:


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