On February 10, 2015, SDSN co-hosted an event entitled The Post-2015 Agenda & a New Climate Agreement: Building Mutually Reinforcing Process with The Permanent Mission of Sweden, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Vietnam, and Peru to the UN. Moderated by Minh-Thu Pham, Policy Director at the United Nations Foundation, the presentation featured E. Ms. Isabella Lövin, Minister for International Development Cooperation of Sweden, Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director at the Earth Institute and SDSN, Joe Colombano, Economic Advisor in the Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General, and Janos Pasztor, Assistant to the Secretary-General on Climate Change. Over 100 people, including several Permanent Representatives and Mission Representatives, attended the event.
Sachs, who spoke first, emphasized that the three major summits this year – the Financing for Development Conference, SDGs Summit, and COP21 – are all part of the same agenda; and that the climate negotiations and the post-2015 agenda should both support a new global framework for ensuring the sustainable development of future generations. Sachs emphasized the importance of the Paris negotiations as the last chance to agree to uphold the globally agreed upon 2°C limit on anthropogenic warming and highlighted the need for effective climate financing in achieving a zero-carbon economy by 2070.
Lövin spoke to the need for universality of the questions at hand, and emphasized the need for a more holistic approach to economic development and environmental sustainability. She emphasized the need for synergies between climate financing and financing for development, in addition to an inclusive, dignifying approach that involves all stakeholders including government, business, academia, and civil society.
Expanding on points made by previous speakers, Colombano focused on the intersection between the global responsibility to end poverty and the responsibility to combat the adverse effects of increased anthropogenic warming. He noted that, “This generation is the first generation that can really eradicate poverty and the last one that can address the challenges of climate change.”
Lastly, Pasztor spoke about climate and development as “two sides of the same coin.” He added that these issues do not only concern the developing world or the developed world, rather achieving the sustainable development goals and remaining under the 2°C limit for global warming will require engaging with the issue on a local, regional, and international level.
After the panelists fielded questions from the attendants, Pham concluded the discussion by stressing the importance and uniqueness of 2015 as an important political moment for sustainable development, as there is no Planet B.
This event was also covered by IISD Reporting Services.