Climate change affects every organism, everywhere on earth. According to the UN, it is the single biggest threat we are facing in the development and improvement of our world. Goal 13 calls for urgent action to combat climate change and put forth policies to build resilience against the damage that has been done as well as its future impacts. Climate change can take on many forms and is often not immediately visible, which makes it one of the more difficult goals to achieve. Skepticism of climate change (despite overwhelming evidence indicating its presence) continues to serve as an enormous obstacle to achieving this goal.
One contributor to climate change is the continual increase of greenhouse gases, which results in increased temperatures, extreme weather patterns, rising sea levels, and the disturbance of ecosystems. Climate change is not only affecting the environment, but its people as well. Fossil fuel emissions create air pollution that is harmful to the health of people exposed to it on a daily basis. People living in coastal communities are at severe risk of losing their homes and lives to rising sea levels, continued ocean acidification, and extreme weather conditions. The CO2 collected in our atmosphere from fossil fuels is even changing the composition of our food, making it less nutritious and more likely to be contaminated. Climate change disproportionately affects the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world.
The Paris Agreement, adopted in 2015, aims to globally respond to climate change by making changes to lower greenhouse gases and slow climate change. This is a step in the right direction, but much more needs to be done to reverse the coming irreparable damage to our planet.
Targets & Indicators
When the UN General Assembly introduced the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, they listed the targets that needed to meet for each goal. These targets break down what needs to be achieved to consider the goal completed. The UN Statistical Commission created the IAEG (International Agency and Expert Group) in 2017, which was tasked with creating the “indicators” for each target. These indicators were created to put measures in place to track the process being made on each target.
Targets and indicators were developed by the UN as a working blueprint for nations, organizations, and people to use when implementing SDGs in their everyday actions. Looking to the targets for the respected goal is the best way to execute the use of them in your work.
13.1Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries.
- 13.1.1 Number of Deaths, Missing Persons, and Directly Affected Persons Attributed to Disasters per 100,000 People
- 13.1.2 Number of Countries That Adopt and Implement National Disaster Risk Reduction Strategies in Line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030
- 13.1.3 Proportion of Local Governments That Adopt and Implement Local Disaster Risk Reduction Strategies in Line with National Disaster Risk Reduction Strategies
13.2Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning.
- 13.2.1 Number of Countries with Nationally Determined Contributions, Long-Term Strategies, National Adaptation Plans, and Adaptation Communications as Reported to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
- 13.2.2 Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions per Year
13.3Improve education, raise awareness, and increase climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning.
- 13.3.1 Extent to Which Global Citizenship Education and Education for Sustainable Development Are Mainstreamed in National Education Policies; Curricula; Teacher Education; and Student Assessment
- 13.3.2 Number of Countries That Have Communicated the Strengthening of Institutional, Systemic, and Individual Capacity-Building to Implement Adaptation, Mitigation, and Technology Transfer as Well as Development Actions
13.aBy 2020, implement the commitment undertaken by developed-country parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to a goal of mobilizing $100 billion annually from all sources to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions. Also, fully operationalize the Green Climate Fund through its capitalization as soon as possible.
- 13.a.1 Amounts Provided and Mobilized in United States Dollars per Year in Relation to the Continued Existing Collective Mobilization Goal of the $100 Billion Commitment Through 2025
13.bPromote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in least-developed countries and small island states, including focusing on marginalized communities.
- 13.b.1 Number of Least Developed Countries and Small Island States with Nationally Determined Contributions, Long-Term Strategies, National Adaptation Plans, and Adaptation Communications as Reported to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change