What Is SDG 13?

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 13 — also known as SDG 13 — takes urgent action to combat climate change and its devastating impacts. This post only focuses on goal 13. To learn about the other SDGs, click here.

What is SDG 13?

SDG 13 encourages taking urgent action to combat climate change and its devastating impacts is therefore imperative to save lives and livelihoods, and is key to making the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Goals – the blueprint for a better future – a reality.

Research proves that the current unsustainable patterns of consumption and production are the root causes of the triple planetary crises. The triple planetary crises are climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution. Read more, here.

As part of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, read this overview of why goal 13 matters.

Why is SDG 13 important?

Urgent action to combat climate change is important for many reasons.

  1. Transform global energy, industry, transport, food, agriculture, and forestry systems.
  2. Consideration of the entire life cycle of economic activities.
  3. Limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius.

The three major points outlined above are important because it champions global progress and aims to support and elevate each country and region, allowing everyone to live more supported lives across current and future generations.

Climate change is affecting every country in the world. It is disrupting national economies and affecting lives and livelihoods, especially for the most vulnerable.

  • By 2030, an estimated 700 million people will be at risk of displacement by drought alone.
  • In 2021, the global mean temperature was about 1.1°C above the pre-industrial level (from 1850 to 1900). The years from 2015 to 2021 were the seven warmest on record. The global annual mean temperature is projected to rise beyond 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels in at least one of the next five years.

How does goal 13 work and measure success?

SDG 13 is broken down into five targets as a way to pace and work towards achieving this goal. The UN official graphics are included below and typed out below the image block.

The goal 13 targets

Target 13.1 strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related disasters.

Target 13.2 integrate climate change measures into policies and planning.

Target 13.3 build knowledge and capacity to meet climate change.

Target 13.A implement the UN framework convention on climate change.

Target 13.B promote mechanisms to raise capacity for climate planning and management.

Read how the Sustainable Business Guide commits to SDG 13, here.


The United Nations. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. Available at: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/economic-growth/ (Accessed: 6 June 2023)

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