3 February 2021, New York, USA (Virtual) – The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) New York office announced the launching of “Harnessing Climate & SDG Synergies to Raise Ambition in the Era of Paris+5 and Pandemic Recovery” online course series in collaboration with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and United Nations framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). Five years after the adoption of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, Covid-19 pandemic has drastically, yet disproportionately affected lives around the world. The virus disruption resulted in deeper inequality and more challenges in advancing both the climate agenda and the realization of SDGs. In response to the current situation, UNDESA, UNFCC and UNITAR organized three webinars since last December on three topics respectively: “making the case for integrated climate SDG Action”, “how to maximize climate & SDG synergies – identifying opportunities and navigating trade-offs”, and “overcoming constraints to implement climate & SDG synergies – capacity, financing, and monitoring.”

These three webinars have not only attracted a wide range of audiences both within and beyond the UN system, but they’ve also served as a robust foundation for the development of the online course series.

UNDESA, UNFCC, and UNITAR believe that that the shifted focus on a greener and more sustainable recovery from the current situation may be an opportunity for countries, especially developing countries to transform their actions, and create long-lasting positive impact on its investment in social protection, energy, and food systems.

In the wake of the UN Climate Ambition Summit on 12 December 2020, UNDESA, UNFCCC and UNITAR are launching a series of online courses to elaborate on the science, evidence and tools that enable climate and SDG synergies. The series will build on the 2019 Climate and SDG Synergies Conference in Copenhagen, and the 2020 Virtual Consultations, going into more depth to facilitate the application of synergies in practice. The three modules of the online course was based on a series of online webinars, and will respond to the questions: why, what, and how.

The first module “why” will equip stakeholders to make the case for synergies; the second module “what” will zero-in on tools used to identify and harness climate & SDG interlinkages; and the third module “how” will focus on strategies to overcome implementation challenges.

The Climate & SDGs Synergy course was designed carefully with today’s special situation in mind. The interactive yet intensive series transcended geographical borders. Its rich and comprehensive content will equip policy and decision-makers with the necessary knowledge and resources to facilitate the synergies between climate goals and SDGs.

The full course will launch at the end of February, on UNITAR’s platform www.learnatunitar.org at the beginning of March of 2021. It is our hope that this course will strengthen the understandings on the synergies between climate actions and SDGs, and it will inspire decision-makers and key stakeholders to make the right choice to create a sustainable future.

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