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    3. Harnessing Climate & SDGs Synergies
      to Recover Better and Stronger
      from the Covid-19 Pandemic

      Global Consultations on Climate & SDG Synergies for a Better and Stronger Recovery, 25 May – 30 June 2020

      Contribute on-line, sharing your insights & initiatives via our Synergies-in-practice questionnaire.

      Background Note

      Concept Note

      Closed on 30 June

      Webinar 1: Thinking ahead for a sustainable, just and resilient recovery, 28 May 2020

      Thought leaders and practitioners share lessons learned from integrated planning to date, and suggest ways to maximize climate & SDG synergies in recovery planning.

      View Webinar 1

      Short Summary

      Event Page

      Webinar 2: Synergies for Just Transitions & Economic Recovery, 11 June 2020

      Diverse experts suggest policies and changes that can enable countries to realize “quick wins” for people & planet, while laying the ground for enduring climate, economic & SDG co-benefits.

      View Webinar 2

      Short summary

      Event Page

      Webinar 3: Going Forward with Climate & SDG Synergies for Covid-19 Recovery, 25 June 2020

      Participants consider next steps to strengthen climate & SDG synergies in practice. Speakers propose ways to leverage intergovernmental processes on biodiversity, food, transport and oceans.

      View Webinar 3

      Short summary

      Event Page


      Introduction: The World in 2020

      The COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis for humanity. Travel restrictions and social distancing, adopted to stem the spread of the novel corona virus, have shuttered much economic activity. Even as rates of transmission fall in certain countries and cities, others report rising trends, total numbers of deaths continue to increase, unemployment is soaring, billions of livelihoods are in jeopardy and a global economic recession is imminent. Continuing anxiety and uncertainty cloud prospects for the future.

      At the same time, many governments are rolling out stimulus packages on a monumental scale and planning for recovery. There is a new appreciation of the urgent need to prepare for global crises. Millions are adapting to working and learning remotely. Against this backdrop of uncertainty and rapid change, the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement can serve as a compass to help policy makers meet urgent needs while aligning short-term solutions to medium and long-term climate and sustainable development objectives.

      Objectives of the 2020 Synergies Consultations

      • Take stock of advances in knowledge and practice in implementing synergies at all levels;
      • Explore how to maximize SDG & climate co-benefits in Covid-19 recovery measures;
      • Identify concrete examples that illustrate the potential of synergistic approaches to recover better & stronger from Covid-19 and achieve 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement objectives;
      • Ascertain ways in which updated National Determined Contributions in 2021 can contribute to Covid-19 recovery & integrate SDG co-benefits;
      • Contribute substantive inputs to benchmark global platforms such as the High-Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development (HLPF), the SDG Decade of Action and UNFCCC/COPs.


      • An action-focused final Report to serve as input for the 2020 High-Level Political Forum, the SDG Decade of Action, UNFCCC/COP26 and other global fora;
      • A Compilation of Synergies in Action drawn from case studies & initiatives;
      • Continued virtual exchange and engagement among the synergies community, including to support multi-disciplinary approaches to recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

      Synergy Conference 2019 - Summary Report

      The expanded summary report from the Climate & SDGs Synergy Conference, 2019 offers details on how to maximize efforts to achieve climate action and the SDGs.

      Read the report
      Read the web story

      Thursday, 28 May 2020

      9:00 AM - 11:30 AM

      Webinar 1 focused on the challenges of forward-planning in a time of intersecting crises. Diverse practitioners and thought leaders reflected on the role of climate & SDG synergies in recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic. Using examples, panelists suggested practical measures that stakeholders can use to better account for trade-offs and harness synergies in their recovery planning process.

      Read the statement of Under-Secretary-General Liu Zhenmin

      • What does the Covid-19 pandemic mean for countries’ National Determined Contributions?

      • What links Covid-19 responses, thus far, to climate & sustainable development objectives?

      • How can stakeholders avoid entrenching trade-offs in their recovery strategies?

      • What examples illustrate the potential of climate & SDG synergies in recovery contexts?

      • How can synergies be monitored for transparency & accountability?

      Thursday, 11 June

      10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

      Webinar 2 will focus on the trends and thematic opportunities that countries can tap to realize “quick wins” and lay the ground for long term climate & SDG co-benefits. Using examples, speakers will suggest the policies, stimulus & financing measures needed to enable a better & faster recovery to Covid-19, by accelerating just transitions to sustainable development that leave no one behind.

      Download the short summary

      • How can stimulus & recovery measures be designed to improve lives now; and maximize climate & SDG co-benefits over a longer term?
      • What measures hold the most potential for impact?
      • What emerging shifts in human behavior, markets and finance offer opportunities?
      • What is being done to enable green, inclusive recovery in low-income countries? What action is needed? How can Paris Agreement and SDG processes be leveraged?

      Thursday, 25 June

      9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
      Join experts and practitioners to identify the key actions needed to strengthen the application of climate & SDG synergies in practice. Speakers will propose actions to leverage global deliberations on biodiversity, food, transport, and oceans. All are encouraged to participate to help shape the consultation’s key messages and recommendations to inform deliberations at the High Level Political Forum, Climate Conference, COP26 and other fora.

      More information is coming soon.

      More information coming soon

      More information coming soon


      UN Climate and SDGs Synergies Knowledge Platform - Synergies questionnaire and webinar resources
      Logo of the Sustainable Development Goals
      UN Global Sustainable Development Report 2019, The Future is Now: Science for Achieving Sustainable Development
      Paris Agreement Background Information
      UN Report, Shared Responsibility, Global Solidarity: Responding to the Socio-Economic Impacts of Covid-19
      HLPF on Sustainable Development Background Information
      Report of the UN Secretary General on the 2019 Climate Action Summit and the Way Forward in 2020
      Climate Action Summit 2019
      United Nations