Climate Change

Climate change, a global phenomenon characterized by alterations in weather patterns, rising global temperatures, and an increase in extreme weather events, poses a significant challenge to sustainable development and directly impacts the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs, a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed as a "blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all" by 2030, are intrinsically connected to climate action.

Central to this relationship is SDG 13: Climate Action, which calls for urgent measures to combat climate change and its impacts. This goal acknowledges that without immediate and sustained action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the achievement of other SDGs is at risk. Climate change exacerbates existing challenges such as poverty (SDG 1), hunger (SDG 2), and health issues (SDG 3) by disrupting livelihoods, food security, and health conditions. For instance, increased temperatures and changing precipitation patterns affect crop yields, leading to food insecurity. Similarly, the spread of diseases is influenced by climatic conditions, directly impacting public health.

Furthermore, climate change has a disproportionate impact on vulnerable populations, including those living in poverty, exacerbating inequalities (SDG 10). It affects access to clean water (SDG 6) and sanitation, with changing weather patterns disrupting water supply. The degradation of natural habitats and ecosystems under climate stress threatens life below water (SDG 14) and life on land (SDG 15), leading to biodiversity loss and affecting the livelihoods of those dependent on these ecosystems.

The economic impacts of climate change are also profound, affecting sustainable industrialization (SDG 9) and undermining economic growth (SDG 8). Severe weather events cause extensive damage to infrastructure and lead to economic losses, while changes in climatic conditions can impact industries such as agriculture, fishing, and tourism.

Moreover, climate change poses challenges to achieving sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11) as urban areas face increased risks of flooding, heatwaves, and air pollution. This necessitates the development of resilient infrastructure and adaptive urban planning. Additionally, the energy sector, integral to most economic activities, must transition towards clean and renewable sources (SDG 7) to mitigate climate change, highlighting the interdependence of the SDGs.

Global partnerships (SDG 17) are crucial in addressing climate change, as it is a global issue requiring international cooperation and funding. Developed countries are urged to support developing nations in climate mitigation and adaptation efforts, recognizing the shared responsibility and differing capacities among nations.


The Lancet Planetary Health, Volume 5, July 2021

Record climate extremes are reducing urban liveability, compounding inequality, and threatening infrastructure. Adaptation measures that integrate technological, nature-based, and social solutions can provide multiple co-benefits to address complex socioecological issues in cities while increasing resilience to potential impacts. However, there remain many challenges to developing and implementing integrated solutions.

This chapter aligns with Goal 14: Life Below Water and Goal 13: Climate Action by highlighting how past marine ecosystem changes can improve our understanding of future climactic and chemical conditions of global oceans.

Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 50, June 2021

Climate change has affected diverse spheres and its impact is being witnessed worldwide. Soil, the basis of human sustenance, is both directly and indirectly affected by climate change. Soil erosion, vegetation degradation and soil salinisation are becoming prevalent, causing a threat to future food security. Saline soils are found mainly in North and Central Asia, Africa and South America. Various factors such as excess irrigation and poor drainage, groundwater salinity, sea level rise and intrusion, irregular rainfall contribute to the process of soil salinisation.


Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 50, June 2021

Droughts are significant drivers of land degradation, which in turn has adverse effects on resource-dependent rural populations and can potentially lead to livelihood losses and subsequent migration out of affected areas. Linkages between land degradation and migration are complex and not particularly well documented, as they occur within a larger context of multi-scale interactions of socio-economic, political, demographic, and environmental processes. Given these uncertainties, further research in this field is needed.

Figure showing the conceptualization of water security
This review article examines observed and projected climate change impacts on water security across the world's drylands to the year 2100.

Food production on our planet is dominantly based on agricultural practices developed during stable Holocene climatic conditions. Although it is widely accepted that climate change perturbs these conditions, no systematic understanding exists on where and how the major risks for entering unprecedented conditions may occur. Here, we address this gap by introducing the concept of safe climatic space (SCS), which incorporates the decisive climatic factors of agricultural production: precipitation, temperature, and aridity.


The Impacts of Climate Change, A Comprehensive Study of Physical, Biophysical, Social, and Political Issues, 2021, Pages 3-17

In this book, a few topics have been chosen to highlight the impacts of climate change on the physical and biophysical aspects of the planet. This introduction looks at the origins and the physics and chemistry of global warming and lets the science tell us just how serious a position our ecosystem and our society is in.

The Impacts of Climate Change, A Comprehensive Study of Physical, Biophysical, Social, and Political Issues, 2021, Pages 537-545

This chapter supports SDGs 3, 16, and 13 by exploring the growing situation of “climate refugees," people displaced throughout the world because of extreme weather events or other climate change factors.

The Impacts of Climate Change, A Comprehensive Study of Physical, Biophysical, Social, and Political Issues, 2021, Pages 521-535

This book chapter addresses SDG 11 and 13 by explaining some of the ways that climate change impacts are evaluated in integrated assessment models (IAMs).

The Impacts of Climate Change, A Comprehensive Study of Physical, Biophysical, Social, and Political Issues, 2021, Pages 537-545

This book chapter addresses SDGs 10 and 13 by describing climate refugees. While the Paris agreement does not make direct reference to impact of climate change to refugees, it is estimated that over 200 million people will migrate to other locations because of climate change by 2050 so a task force must be established to assist and mitigate displacement.