Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Series: Goal 13



Goal Thirteen: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*

* Acknowledging that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change


The inclusion of SDG Thirteen on climate change was anticipated, however it is limited in its scope to avoid overlap with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which has served as the primary body working on climate change since 1992. Like Goal Twelve, this goal includes a target emphasizing the need for increased education and awareness-raising on the subject matter. Higher education and research in Africa are key to solving problems caused by climate change. Biotechnology is one solution proposed by African scientists. With careful use it can provide crops that give higher yields in dry and barren land and be a major contributor to food security. However, although there are an increasing number of examples of biotech crops in Africa, compared to Latin America and Asia the use of biotechnology is extremely low and South Africa is the only country in Africa to commercialize biotech crops so far.


Another important aspect of this goal is its inclusion of a target on the capacity to respond to natural disasters, which have plagued Africa. Capacity means that they are guided by the users, allowing them to participate more fully in decision-making processes and to articulate the specific needs and demands of a diverse society. It also means persistent adaptation towards increased efficiency, transparency and accountability. Committees and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) may be enlisted to monitor and evaluate climate services, especially in rural areas. Institutional decentralization and special measures must be put in place to ensure participation of women, youth, ethnic minorities, and vulnerable groups


Proposed Targets:

13.1 Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries

13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning

13.3 Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning

13.a Implement the commitment undertaken by developed-country parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion annually by 2020 from all sources to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation and fully operationalize the Green Climate Fund through its capitalization as soon as possible

13.b Promote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in least developed countries, including focusing on women, youth and local marginalized communities

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