The 2030 Global Development Agenda contains 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement provides the foundation for sustainable low carbon and resilient development. The links between climate change and sustainable development are strong.
Climate change presents a serious threat to sustainable development. The 2030 Development Agenda identifies climate change as “one of the greatest challenges of our time” and states that “its adverse impacts undermine the ability of all countries to achieve sustainable development”.
Managing and adapting to long term climate risk is critical for sustainable development. Hence environmental sustainability is the underlying theme connecting the SDGs. Not only has climate change been given its dedicated target (Goal 13), but it is also integrated into almost all of the other SDGs.
The Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) has decided to create a network of COMSATS Centre for Climate and Sustainability (CCCS) based on shared interest and purpose to work on a cooperative approach on twin challenges of climate change and sustainable development.
The institutional framework will be on the principle of mutual benefit under South-South & Triangular Cooperation and keeping in view the significance of partnerships as an important mechanism under SDG 17.
On November 9, 2018 approval was accorded to establish COMSATS Centre for Climate and Sustainability (CCCS) in Kazakhstan at the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University.
COMSATS Centre for Climate & Sustainability will be a multi-stakeholder institute working in the framework of South-South & Triangular Cooperation to bring innovative approaches to plan, fund and tackle climate change challenges in line with the policy and practices of developing countries and their international obligations.
The Centre will focus on following objectives:
- enhance scientific knowledge of the South on climate change for appropriate climate action and advocacy;
- assess impacts of environmental and climatic variability on livelihoods and economic development;
- combat climate change through mitigation and adaptation for sustainable growth and development;
- improve societal knowledge and capacity building on climate change and environmental issues;
- develop knowledge bank of information and data to inform better evidence based policy making;
- promote regional and global partnerships to take effective action for climate and sustainability.
Working Groups of the Centre:
Under the CCCS working groups will adopt a trans-disciplinary approach to key drivers of climate-sustainability nexus.
- Working Group on “Climate Research and Impact Assessment‟ will focus on collaborative research on climate and ecosystem required to combat climate change and to attain SDGs.
- Working Group on “Mitigation Action” will undertake mitigation activities within the framework of Paris Agreement and SDGs.
- Working Group on “Climate Change Adaptation” will focus on adaptation planning and build climate resilience of vulnerable communities based on climate impact assessments.
- Working group on “Science, Technology and Innovation (STI)” will conduct sector-wise evaluations of technological needs of developing countries and ensure promoting appropriate application of technological development and transfer.
- Working Group “Climate Governance and Policy Planning” will focus on integrating climate and environmental considerations into development sectors like energy, industry, agriculture and transport and advocacy of climate change mitigation and adaptation in context of science-based evidence.
- Working group on “Climate Finance” will assess financial requirements of climate change mitigation, adaptation and seek funding from international financing mechanisms for implementation of planned activities.
- Working Group on “Knowledge Management and Capacity Building” will emphasize on knowledge management, knowledge sharing, good practices and capacity building.
- Working Group on “Communication and Awareness” will focus on advocacy and awareness-raising to improve understanding of climate change and its risks in promoting sustainable development.
- Working group on "Collaborative Partnerships‟ will promote cross-sectoral partnerships at national, regional and global level to strengthen efforts in promoting climate action and achieving sustainable development.