Recalibrating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): How to make Climate Action central to the SDGs?


By Ajit Singh posted 21 days ago

The Resilient Cities theme of the Institute for Global Innovation (IGI) organized a series of online webinars in March 2021 to explore the links between climate change and other UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These webinars were categorized into three sustainable areas: 1. Human and social (SDGs 1, 3, 5, 10), 2. Environment and Resources (SDGs 2, 6, 7, 12, 14, 15), and 3. Governance (SDGs 8, 9, 11, 16, 17).

The initiative brought together academic experts from various disciplines within the University of Birmingham to examine sustainable goals in the light of climate change. We hope by linking climate actions to other SDGs we can, directly and indirectly, serve to fulfil the 2030 agenda for sustainable development and also effectively feed into the COP26 agendas.

The impacts of climate change, including sea level rise, shifts in weather patterns, and more extreme weather events such as heatwaves, droughts, floods and storms are likely to intensify the risks of disasters and threaten livelihoods. Climate action with policy integration will require efforts to better plan and manage resources in an integrated way.

Conference of the Parties (COP), the supreme decision-making body of the United Nations Framework Convention facilitates and supports global parties to combat climate change. This year for the first time, the UK will host the COP26 in Glasgow to review the implementation of the convention and to take action for further development and implementation. The international community has committed to combat climate change and achieve 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), where climate change is explicitly mentioned as Goal 13. The current and potential impacts of climate change are becoming more evident than ever. While climate change is likely to hinder progress towards nearly all SDGs, well-planned climate mitigation and adaptation could help unlock the large majority of the SDGs targets. This is crucial time when climate action needs to be harmonized with other sustainable development policies.

To that end, this series of online webinars focuses on how climate impacts can link to other sustainable development goals. Our ultimate aim is to highlight how the next iteration of UN mandated goals, which will replace the SDGs, should be framed around climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Webinar recordings are available online to the 'Forum for Global Challenges' community. If you are interested in this work or would like more information, please contact Dr Ajit Singh ( or Professor Francis Pope (