Aligning the Agendas on Development and Climate

Sustainable development and climate action must go hand in hand to create a better future. UNEP DTU Partnership is part of a new initiative to create a "rulebook" for implementation of the Paris Agreement's Article 6 by COP24 in 2018

April 9, 2018

A newly launched initiative aims to help overcome knowledge and political barriers to promote sustainable development (SD). The SD Dialogue is a Party-driven initiative that focuses on promoting sustainable development through Article 6 of the Paris Agreement to allow for higher ambition in the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

Global goals for climate change and sustainable development were agreed in two historical agreements in 2015; the Paris Agreement and the United Nations 2030 Agenda to achieve 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The political aspiration for a transformational change to low carbon and sustainable development is recognised in both agreements.

What is not yet clear is the extent to which the global Sustainable Development Goals can be aligned with transparency and reporting provisions for NDCs to provide an indicator and reporting framework at international and national levels to support countries achieve their nationally determined sustainable development and climate goals.

During the upcoming Africa Climate Week in Nairobi 9th-13th of April, there will be several events and workshops regarding the SD Dialogue.

Enabling robust operationalisation

Focusing on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement that covers cooperation among Parties with the objectives to raise climate action ambition, promote sustainable development and ensure environmental integrity, the SD Dialogue aims to clarify if and how guidance at international level can support Parties.

The SD Dialogue will develop high-level options for guidance and engage in discussion with negotiators, private sector and civil society stakeholders through events in 2018 such as negotiators informal dialogues, regional climate weeks in Africa, Latin America and Asia. It will explore views and experiences and identify convergence and divergence.

The final expected impact is to enable a robust operationalisation of the SD provisions in Art. 6 of the Paris Agreement at COP24 in Poland 2018.

The SD Dialogue is organised by UNEP DTU Partnership and the Gold Standard Foundation in collaboration with the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development.

A rulebook for implementation

Sustainable development is an objective to be pursued in parallel with climate actions. Sustainable development features prominently in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which covers three voluntary approaches:

• Internationally transferred mitigation outcomes (ITMOs) that promote SD (Article 6.2)
• Contributions to the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and support of sustainable development (Article 6.4)
• Promotion of mitigation and adaptation ambitions, enhancing public and private participation and enabling opportunities for coordination across mechanisms and institutions (Article 6.8)

Against this background, the objective of the SD Dialogue is to explore views on how to operationalise the sustainable development provisions in Article 6.

Based on technical work, research and analysis, options will be developed and discussed on how the ‘rulebook’ for implementation of Article 6 may look like.

The overall nature of the Paris Agreement with its strong focus on nationally determined policies and measures as a contribution to achieve the global climate goals is also reflected in Article 6. Because of this any guidance with regard to SD assessment will have to respect the national prerogative of the participating countries, while recognising the global and interlinked nature of climate and sustainable development goals.

The SD Dialogue is made possible by contributions received from Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and Liechtenstein.

For more information about the initiative you can contact:

Karen Olsen, UNEP DTU Partnership:
Marion Verles, Gold Standard Foundation:
Sven Braden, Consultant: