Climate Action: What is Sustainable Development Goal 13?

March 24, 2021

Jessie Wang, Communiteer

climate action

You might know by now that our current campaign Take Climate Action focuses on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 – Climate Action. But what is it exactly?

The UN explains that the goal here is to “take urgent action to tackle climate change and its impacts.”

As Australia moves toward rebuilding our economy after COVID-19, our recovery plans need to be clean, green, healthy, safe and more resilient so that it works for both people and the planet.

The UN has defined 13 defines 5 targets and 8 indicators for SDG 13:

13.1 Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters

only 85 countries have national disaster risk reduction strategies aligned to the Sendai Framework

Indicator 13.1.1: Deaths and injuries from natural disasters.
Number of deaths, missing persons, and those directly affected by natural disasters per 100,000 population.

Question to ask ourselves: is this number going down year by year? What can we do to make sure this number keeps going down?

Indicator 13.1.2: National disaster risk management

Number of countries with national and local disaster risk reduction strategies.

Question to ask ourselves: has Australia adopted disaster risk management strategies? What can we do to further implement them?

Indicator 13.1.3: Local disaster risk management

Proportion of local governments that adopt and implement local disaster risk reduction strategies in line with national disaster risk reduction strategies.

Question to ask ourselves: has our local government adopted disaster risk management strategies? What can we do to further implement them?

13.2 Integrate climate action measures into policies, strategies and planning

Indicator 13.2.1: Integration of climate change into national policies.

Number of countries that have signed the multilateral agreement on climate change, i.e. the UNFCC Paris Agreement and have implemented appropriate climate mitigation and action.

Question to ask ourselves: Australia has signed the Paris Agreement, but the Climate Action Tracker rates our targets as “insufficient”. What should we do to change this?

13.3 Build knowledge and capacity to meet climate action

chart on climate finance: investment in fossil fuels continues to be higher than investment in climate activities. fossil fuel sits at $781 billion while global climate finance is at $681 billion.

Indicator 13.3.1: Education on climate action.

Number of countries that have integrated climate change into their primary, secondary, and tertiary curricula.

Question to ask ourselves: do our primary, secondary, and tertiary schools teach climate change? What can we do to make sure this SDG is taught, and in-depth?

Indicator 13.3.2: Capacity-building for climate change

Number of countries that have communicated the strengthening of institutional, systemic, and individual capacity-building to implement development actions, adaptation, mitigation, and technology transfer.

Question to ask ourselves: do we get information about things that are being done or changed to combat climate change? How do we make sure this kind of information is communicated?

13. A Implement the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

Indicator 13.A.1: Green Climate Fund (GCF) mobilisation of USD 100 billion

The current pledged commitment from “developed” countries to jointly contribute USD 100 billion every year.

Question to ask ourselves: how much is Australia contributing every year to the GCF per capita? Is this enough?

13. B Promote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management

Indicator 13.B.1: Support for planning and management in least-developed countries

The number of least developed countries that are receiving specialised and adequate support so they can raise their capacities for effective climate change-related planning and management.

Question to ask ourselves: how much is Australia providing support to other “developing” countries? Is what we’re doing enough?

Throughout our campaign, we will introduce you to not-for-profits around the country that are combating each of these targets and how they are measuring their success.

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