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Sustainable Development Goal 13

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

The 2015 Paris Agreement was signed by 185 nations that pledged to address the threats presented by climate change. Many of these countries have committed to specific measures to prevent the worst impacts, but much more must be done to keep global temperature rise well below 2 degrees C, or ideally 1.5 degrees C.

WRI’s Climate Program is focused on hastening the transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient world at the pace and scale needed to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. WRI hosts the NDC Partnership, which is supporting countries in delivering on and enhancing their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), developing long-term strategies and building resilience to climate impacts. Our technical assistance strengthens awareness, education and institutional capacities to reduce emissions and catalyze transformative adaptation (SDG 13.3). Our PREPdata platform visualizes data to build climate resilience, and the Urban Community Resilience Assessment amplifies vulnerable communities’ voices in adaptation decision-making to advance effective, equitable and resilient urban development.

 WRI serves as managing partner of the Global Commission on Adaptation, which is accelerating adaptation action and building political support for climate resilience. Our Forests and Water Programs use advanced data technologies to forge solutions that protect water and terrestrial ecosystems and build resilient communities (SDG 13.1, SDG 13.3). WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities produces research for urban leaders on how to create resilient, low-carbon cities. The WRI Finance Center is working to shift private and multilateral financial flows towards sustainable activities, while encouraging high-income countries to meet their climate finance commitments (SDG 13.A). Our Land and Resource Rights Practice shows how securing community land rights supports SDGs 13 and 15. Tenure-secure community land promotes forest conservation and climate mitigation, while titling indigenous land can significantly reduce clearing and disturbance. Indigenous communities granted tenure security can play a key role in protecting forests that act as carbon sinks (SDG 13 and 15).


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WRI President and CEO Dr. Andrew Steer recently joined the IMF Podcast to explore ways fiscal policies can help countries implement climate strategies. The big takeaway: Done smartly, rapidly reducing greenhouse gas emissions will actually benefit the economy.

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With the U.S. Congress largely silent on the subject of ambitious climate legislation—at least since the 2009 push for a federal cap-and-trade program—the idea of a Green New Deal has stirred attention to climate change like never before.

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Investors increasingly view global sustainability challenges as material to long-term financial performance, as the visible impacts of climate change—extreme heat, droughts, floods and sea level rise—become ever clearer. But do they have enough information to manage the risks and capitalize on the opportunities of a world in transition?

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