In 2015, the international community came to two significant agreements; 1) aiming to keep global warming well below 2°C through the Paris Agreement at the UN climate change meeting (COP21) in December 2015 and 2) setting the development of the world on a more sustainable track through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted at the UN Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015. These two agreements will set the development agenda for the coming decades. The two agreements are closely interlinked with each other and already several synergies and trade-offs have been identified.
The goal of Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7), can be seen to have linkages to all of the other goals. Energy policies have especially notable impacts on poverty reduction and reducing inequalities (SDGs 1, 10, 5), food security (SDG 2), health issues (SDG 3), water availability (SDG 6), economic growth and employment (SDG 8), industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9) and climate action (SDG 13), in the same way as these dimensions will affect energy policy. Furthermore, reaching the targets of renewable energy employment and energy efficiency of SDG 7 will have a direct impact on climate action under the Paris Agreement.
To maximize synergies between the two global agreements, interactions between energy and climate policies and the SDGs need to be better understood. The research project “Linking Climate and Development Policies – Leveraging International Networks and Knowledge Sharing” (CD-LINKS) brings together a consortium of nineteen leading international research organizations from around the globe to explore national and global climate and energy transformation strategies and their linkages to a range of SDGs. The project is financed by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme.
This event will most clearly contribute to the HLPs I (The Role of Energy in the Post 2015 Development Agenda with a Focus on Poverty), II (The Energy, Food Security, Land Use, Water, and Health Nexus), and IV (Affordable and Clean Energy and SDG 13 Climate Action) of the Vienna Energy Forum 2017.