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High-Level Meeting on the Protection of the Global Climate for Present & Future Generations of Humankind in the Context of the Economic, Social and Environmental Dimensions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

28 March 2019, United Nations Headquarters, New York

Climate Change was the most commonly referenced topic during the general debate of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly in September 2018.Of the 146 Member States that raised it, many cited climate change as the defining challenge of this era. This reflects the nature of climate change as a cross-cutting and immediate threat to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and to the survival and wellbeing of island nations and coastal communities. Climate Change is, moreover, increasingly a direct burden on Member States, yet can be an opportunity for systemic change to ensure resilient, productive, and healthy environment for present and future generations.

As per UNGA Resolution A/RES/72/219, the President of the General Assembly will convene a High- Level Meeting on the issue of the protection of the global climate for present and future generations of humankind in the context of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This High-Level Meeting will take an intergenerational approach in highlighting synergies between climate and broader SDGs. It will also focus on identifying specific actions, commitments, and means of implementation that can make a material difference to climate change mitigation and adaptation, or signal an emerging precedent for action.


The objectives of the high-level meeting are as follows:

  • Highlight the interlinkages between climate and economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development for present and future generations including the synergies between the climate agenda and Agenda 2030.
  • Promote the adoption of an intergenerational approach to climate action, taking into account recent report findings, and including mainstreaming tools, by providing an interface for dialogue and pledges between policymakers, leaders and representatives of present and future generations.
  • Highlight practical, as well as gender and age responsive means of implementation, notably: Climate Finance, Low-carbon energy and technologies and capacity building.
  • Provide a bridge in close coherence with other UN climate platforms: Building on the success of COP24 in Katowice, and in advance of COP25 in Chile in coordination with UNFCCC; Leading into the review of SDG13 at the HLPF in July, and under the GA in September; and in close coordination with the Secretary-General on the road to the 2019 Climate Summit in September, including the ‘stocktaking’ meeting in the United Arab Emirates in June.



Synergies between Climate and the SDGs

2019 presents clear opportunities to demonstrate and discuss the synergies between the climate and sustainable development agendas, as the development community prepare for the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in July and the HLPF Summit in September, the Climate Summit, the SAMOA Pathway Mid-Term Review, and the Mid-Term Review of the Vienna Program of Action for Landlocked Developing Countries. The panel will examine the role of climate action in the context of sustainable development; to promote dialogue between policymakers, leaders and representatives of present and future generations; to share experiences and best practices on integration of climate objectives on a range of SDGs through national policies, strategies and programs. It will also analyze the challenges, gaps and recommendations in relation to climate, in order to motivate enhanced ambition.


Means of Implementation

The panel will address key issues related to mobilizing the means of implementation. The deliberations from this Panel should constitute an important contribution to call on national governments to announce new, more stringent targets to meet the Paris Agreement. The panel will discuss among the following topics: requirements to scale up mobilization of financial, low carbon energy and technology and capacity building resources from all sources and propose concrete actions needed to target the greatest needs; identification of the different requirements for countries at varying levels of development, as well as to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of available resources; identify the potential linkages between scaling up mobilization of means of implementation; leverage the UN’s unique role in formulating an integrated global partnership with effective means of implementation to best respond to climate change challenge.

LUNCHEON: Leaders’ Roundtables

The twelve “Leaders’ Roundtables” will provide participants with the opportunity to delve deeper into the synergies between climate action and the broader 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through interactive thematic dialogues. It will provide the nine coalitions of the UN Secretary- General’s Climate Action Summit with a forum to meet and brainstorm initiatives that may be presented in the preparatory meeting in Abu Dhabi. This will, in turn, facilitate preparations and
support the development of concrete proposals that may be shortlisted and accordingly scaled-up in time for the UN Climate Action Summit. In addition to the nine coalitions, three roundtables will be hosted to enable broader participation of the membership of the UN General Assembly and relevant stakeholders.

Each table will be led by at least one State, with whom the OPGA will work, in order to curate the participants of each roundtable, assisted by a supporting entity. There will be 10 participants on each table, including Governments, youth representatives, the private sector, international organizations, civil society and academia. Each table will also have a “rapporteur” appointed in advance, in order to report the outcomes back to the room, and to contribute to the Presidential Summary of the High- Level Meeting.

The themes for the twelve leaders’ roundtables will be as follows:

1. Youth and Intergenerational Mobilization
2. Energy transition
3. Industry transition
4. Infrastructure, cities and local action
5. Nature based solutions
6. Mitigation ambition
7. Resilience and Adaptation
8. Climate finance and carbon pricing
9. Social and Political Drivers Coalition
10. Climate-Health Nexus
11. Local communities and indigenous peoples
12. Economic opportunities and the future of work



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