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Fewer than 10 years remain to achieve Agenda 2030, yet no country is on track to meet all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Countries are also far behind in achieving the low-carbon and climate-resilient society envisioned in the Paris Agreement; their climate pledges, or nationally determined contributions(NDCs), are far less ambitious than required to keep global warming to the Paris target of “well below” 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

The goals of the NDCs intersect both positively and negatively with the SDGs; progress on climate goals can therefore either help or hinder progress on the SDGs. The success of both can be helped by policy coherence, wherein
countries promote synergies and address conflicts in the implementation of both their NDC and SDG agendas.

This policy brief presents initial findings from an analysis by researchers from SEI, Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Linköping University and the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University. It looks at coherence in the joint implementation of the NDC and SDG agendas in six countries: Germany, Kenya, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sweden and the Philippines.

The authors present insights on key synergies and conflicts between goals, describe the barriers and governance challenges leading to policy incoherence, and share recommendations on how to enhance policy coherence in the countries considered.