On the occasion of the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP23) in Bonn, the UN System Staff College (UNSSC) and UN Climate Change (UNFCCC) are jointly announcing a new six-week online tutored course. The course aims at deepening the understanding of the interlinked nature of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, including ways to leverage climate action to implement the Paris Agreement towards the achievement of comprehensive sustainable development progress.

As delegates negotiate and discuss pathways to implement the Paris Agreement, it becomes ever more evident that climate change solutions are inextricably connected and part of wider approaches and policies seeking to achieve sustainable development progress globally. In fact, climate change is a cross-cutting development issue, which influences human livelihoods, economic development, and the environment. Traditionally, climate action with its human, financial, and technology investments was viewed as a trade-off with national economic development aspirations, not fully owned by the policy makers, and left with marginalised sectoral institutions. But the situation has changed – climate action now does make a business case and provides opportunities for balanced development.  It is not an ‘either-or’ global evidence-based discourse. It has become a “win-win” approach to address climate change without compromising the other national sustainable development priorities.  Ultimately, climate change solutions will need to identify and exploit synergies and spin-offs, as well as seek to balance possible trade-offs among the multiple objectives of interrelated development, climate change mitigation, and adaptation policies.

Through its Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development, the UNSSC and UN Climate Change (UNFCCC) are jointly developing an online tutored course to be launched in May 2018, which will explore the interconnections and interdependencies between sustainable development and climate action through the five dimensions of the 2030 Agenda: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace, and Partnership. Participants will learn why climate action is crucial for sustainable development, and why every effort should be made to maximize synergies between the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change. Through its integrated approach to climate change from the broader sustainable development perspective, the course will help development practitioners and policy makers to make informed policy choices towards low-carbon and climate resilient sustainable development. 

During the six weeks of the course, participants will engage in interactive webinars with high-level experts from the UN system, governments, civil society, and the private sector. Through videos and key reading material, participants will dive deeper into each week’s focus area. In addition, case studies and tutored discussions will illustrate the different angles of the climate change-sustainable development nexus. The course is primarily addressing development actors from the UN system, national or regional governments, non-governmental organisations, civil society and academia.

For more information and to receive updates on the course, write to sustainable-development@unssc.org.

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