Putting Societal Well-Being at the Core of G7 Climate Strategies: Entry Points and Enabling Reforms
Integrating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into climate actions is essential for a healthy planet and people. Yet, national climate policies and international climate support programs often fail to explicitly recognize the interconnections between climate concerns and other priorities covered under the SDGs. This failure can leave key segments of society behind or marginalize stakeholders who are natural allies in the fight against climate change. This policy brief recommends that the G7 actively promote the adoption of national climate policies and international climate support programs with societal well-being at their core. Many interventions can bring well-being into the center of climate actions. However, this brief highlights three sets of often overlooked entry points that can leverage links between climate and well-being: (i) social protection and health (SDGs 1, 3, 5, 8, 10, and 16); (ii) quality education for all (SDGs 4, 10, and 16); and (iii) gender equality (SDGs 5, 8, and 16). The brief further recommends that the successful and widescale implementation of actions within those entry points needs to be supported by two sets of enabling reforms. The first is shifting to multidimensional well-being measures as policy yardstick indicators (SDG 17); and the second is institutional/fiscal reforms to enable the formulation and implementation of climate strategies featuring societal well-being (SDGs 16 and 17). An inclusive, bottom-up participatory approach that engages marginalized stakeholders in the G7 and other countries can help guide the selection of other similarly intended recommendations beyond those featured in this brief.