This academic paper examines the relevance of agriculture and food systems to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 13, which urges action on climate change, and its ties to both agricultural systems and other SDGs.
Environment and/or pollution > Human health, Nature
sustainable development goals
synergies and trade-offs
Bruce Campbell, James Hansen, Janie Rioux, Clare Stirling, Stephen Twomlow, Eva Lini Wollenberg
Academic/research institution or journal
This academic paper connects the agricultural applications of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 13 on climate action to the 2-degree target set by the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It then demonstrates the connections between SDG 13 and the other SDGs, specifically as they relate to food systems.
To demonstrate the links between SDGs, this paper uses the example of nitrogen fertilizer use. Runoff from excessive use of nitrogen fertilizer contaminates land and water and undermines SDG 6 (clean water), SDG 13 (climate action), SDG 14 (ocean life), and SDG 15 (life on land). Alternatively, if too little fertilizer is used, the resulting lower crop yields threaten SDG 1 (no poverty), SDG 2 (no hunger), and SDG 3 (good health). When an optimal amount of nitrogen fertilizer is used, progress is made toward achieving the above SDGs in addition to SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production).
The authors suggest progress toward the SDGs requires a transformation of food systems. They propose a theory of change based on eight interrelated recommendations: expand private sector activity and public–private partnerships; provide innovative credit and insurance; strengthen local organizations and networking; issue climate-informed advisories and early warning systems; develop digital agriculture; develop climate-resilient and low-emission practices and technologies; prioritize pathways of change; and build capacity and enable policy and institutions.
“This 2018 International Labor Organization (ILO) report takes stock of current social dialogue efforts, including tripartism, in terms of the changing nature of work and in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It examines best practices and shortcomings on a region-by-region basis. It also analyzes several threats to social dialogue: automation and digitalization, migration and changes in demography, climate change, and the backlash to globalization.
While noting the importance of social dialogue and tripartism, the paper points out that widening income inequality, weakening labor market institutions, increasing automation, and informal sector employment could all potentially weaken the effectiveness of social dialogue. Climate change also poses a threat because the work of labor institutions and social partners to manage distributional impacts lags behind actual needs in many countries. The report outlines such elements of these challenges at a regional and national level.
The ILO reiterates the importance of social dialogue and tripartism in meeting the SDGs and the need for “decent work.” The final chapter of the report includes suggestions to strengthen social dialogue and labor institutions, including enhancing collective bargaining capacity, but notes that more evidence-based research (including better statistics) is needed to measure the impact of social dialogue.”
Report/Definitions and Concepts; Policy Tools or Evaluations
This report suggests eight principles for measuring justice dimensions of energy transition processes in developing countries and applies this rubric to twelve countries in the Global South.
Global, China, Costa Rica, Fiji, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Philippines, Tanzania, Vietnam
Economic diversification/restructuring > Economic development plans
Employment > Job creation and/or equality, Skills, Social protections
Environment and/or pollution > Nature
Government intervention > Carbon pricing, Regulation
Inequality and/or poverty > Gender inequality, Other
Investment > Competitiveness
Social and/or cultural impacts > Other
justice to nature
common but differentiated responsibilities
Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)
Thomas Hirsch, Manuela Matthess, Joachim Fünfgelt
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Foundation, Brot für die Welt (Bread for the World)
Non-profit organization/civil society organization
This report discusses the various stakeholder narratives of “just energy transitions” and their claims to justice. The authors promote transformative alliances among these stakeholders to align their sustainable development strategies. They offer a set of eight principles to encourage and assess justice dimensions of energy transition processes in developing countries.
Using the proposed principles and their respective indicators, the authors evaluate twelve countries: China, India, Nepal, the Philippines, Vietnam, Fiji, Morocco, South Africa, Tanzania, Costa Rica, Jamaica, and Mexico. These countries were identified based on justice terminology within their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement. Performance among these countries was generally strongest in terms of their ambitious targets regarding climate and the alignment of their NDCs with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. These countries generally scored lower with respect to the socioeconomic dimension—such as ensuring or fostering “decent work and resilience,” “social equity,” and “gender equality”—and even lower in regard to the political dimension.
The paper concludes that countries claiming to be pioneers of just energy transitions do not necessarily perform better in terms of the social and political dimension, nor do those who claim to be pioneers regarding justice necessarily lead when it comes to climate ambition. The authors offer recommendations specific to each of the twelve countries and conclude with broadly applicable policy recommendations to better apply justice to energy transitions.