Goal 13: Climate Action

Climate Change: A Challenge Without Borders

Climate change is the only obstacle, out of all the issues that the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to address, that immediately affects every country in the world. For this reason, all countries adopted the Paris Agreement in 2015. In the agreement, countries agreed to work together to limit global temperature increase. Many nations had already started to move on their own toward cleaner and renewable energy sources, but the Paris Agreement offered the world a unified framework for progress on interceding climate change.

What’s the Goal?

UN’s goal #13 aims to take urgent action to tackle climate change and limit its impact.

Why Does it Matter?

Despite efforts in recent decades, global temperature continues to rise with wealthier, developed countries emitting the majority of greenhouse gas. Developed nations often face little responsibility from their pollution’s impact on neighboring countries. To exacerbate this, less developed nations are generally the most severely impacted by the rising temperatures and sea level, along with the intensified natural disasters fueled by climate change.​

What Causes Climate Change?

Humans are responsible for rapid climate change. One reason is that, since the Industrial Revolution, we’ve been burning fossil fuels which emit CO2. CO2 causes pollution and is the reason that global temperatures are rising at increasingly alarming rates every decade. These increasing temperatures lead to rising sea levels as ice from the Arctic and Antarctica melt. Increasing temperatures also damage many already fragile ecosystems across the globe.

Can We Achieve This Goal?

Yes, we can address climate change, but every country needs to increase their efforts by investing in renewable energy, by making their energy industry, transportation, food, agriculture, and forestry systems more efficient, and by using renewable energy sources.

How Can I Help?

There are many things that individuals can do to mitigate climate change. These things range from turning off or unplugging electrical appliances when not in use to limiting car trips and opting to bike or walk instead.Read here for more ideas on how you can help fight climate change.

Goal 13 Facts & Figures

$100 billion

The amount developed countries plan to mobilize by 2020 to help alleviate the effects of climate change


The amount that global emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) has increased since 1990. CO2 emissions grew faster from 2000 to 2010 than in each of the three previous decades.


The number of countries or parties that had ratified the Paris Agreement

Goal 13 Targets

  • Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries.
  • Integrate climate-change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning.
  • Improve education, awareness, and human and institutional capacity for climate change mitigation and impact reduction.
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