Sussex Sustainability Research Programme

Call for Abstracts

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Submission period is now closed and those accepted for presentation will be notified shortly.

Towards Coordinated and Accelerated Action

In 2015, 175 states agreed to climate goals under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. That same year, 193 states also signed the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  Guided by these goals, a new ‘Post-2015’ era of sustainable development has commenced.

But as the COVID-19 pandemic rolls on, urgent unfinished business piles up. Both the climate and SDG agendas require massive investments in new technology and infrastructure. Both will require transformative reforms in governance and management to ensure that these agendas are just and equitable. Which raises the question: In the face of shrinking resources during and after the pandemic, is it possible to coordinate and align these two huge efforts or must they compete for scarce resources? 

We call out to the academic and international development communities to join us in this Symposium and provide evidence of policies and measures that jointly advance climate goals and other SDGs, that help to coordinate and accelerate the realisation of both the Paris Agreement and 2030 Agenda. We aim particularly to highlight actions for transformative change at the local, national and global levels that advance justice and ensure that no one is left behind.
The Evidence for Action Symposium will build on recent UN activities in this area (including the 2019 UN Conference and the 2020 UN Consultation), as well as the GlobalGoals2020 International Symposium. The Symposium will produce policy-focused outputs that will be targeted towards influential international audiences and events, including the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow in November 2021 and the 50th anniversary of the UN Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm+50) in 2022.  It will also produce a set of research-oriented outputs for academic and practitioner audiences. 

Registration for the symposium will be free and information about how to register will be available shortly at this link.

Submitting Abstracts

Abstracts are invited for presentations or sessions* on:

1. Specific policies and measures that further both the climate and SDG agendas, and encourage accelerated and coordinated action on climate goals and the other global goals at all levels.

2. Governance arrangements that further the goals of both the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda by supporting policy coherence and pluralistic and adaptive institutions.

*Additional informationA single presentation can have multiple authors.  A “session” usually consists of at least three presentations (by single or multiple authors). In either case, only one abstract is necessary.

We welcome abstracts (max. 350 words) that fit under one or more of the four Symposium themes. (We will not be requesting full written papers for this symposium.)  Sample topics for abstracts are given below for illustration only; we welcome other abstract topics that fit under these themes: 

Theme 1. Climate Adaptation and the SDGs

• Integrating climate adaptation plans into national and local programmes of poverty alleviation;

• Developing climate adaptation measures that complement and reinforce the ‘end hunger’ goal and other SDGs;

• Linking of climate adaptation planning with disaster risk reduction strategies;

• Devising climate adaptation measures in the water sector that help achieve SDG targets for equitable access to water supply and protection of water quality;

• Identifying actions that strengthen individual and collective agency to act on measures for climate adaptation and the SDGs;

• Creating institutional arrangements that enhance local institutions’, and indigenous knowledge holders’, capabilities to lead on both climate adaptation and complementary sustainable development efforts;

• Developing methods for recognising, valuing and integrating local and indigenous knowledge in climate adaptation plans that also advance the SDGs;

• Developing nature-based solutions to climate adaptation that also advance development goals.

Theme 2. Climate and Environmental Justice

• Identifying the commonalities between goals for climate justice and environmental justice, and how these concepts can be unified;

• Addressing the underlying structural causes of injustice and inequality, including gender inequality, to ensure that responses to climate change and other global challenges are just and equitable;

• Harmonising goals for climate justice with the targets for justice and equality in SDGs 4, 5, 10 and 16, advancing efforts to achieve transformative justice in the domains of climate, energy, food, water and conflict;

• Identifying novel combinations of ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ strategies (state-based, legal, financial, activist, gender-sensitive, pro-poor) that address climate and environmental injustice;

• Describing case studies and developing methods in which social groups vulnerable to climate and environmental stresses gained influence over adaptation and development strategies (local to national scales);

• Identifying participatory methods for engaging local communities in climate and environmental justice issues.

Theme 3. Climate and Health

• Mitigating the long-term impacts on health of climate change (life course epidemiological impacts);

• Identifying models for ‘climate-resilient’ health systems and ‘climate-smart’ health care facilities;

• Factoring public health protection into the design of climate mitigation and adaptation policies including carbon pricing and the reform of fossil fuel subsidies.

• Assessing how climate-related health outcomes including mental health depend on the relative vulnerability and exposure of different populations and their access to health services.

• Coping with the spread of disease vectors under climate change, including the changing ecology of vectors;

• Addressing impacts of a warming climate on food safety, including its impacts on food storage;

• Coping with health effects of more frequent, and/or more severe, heatwaves;

• Addressing impacts of extreme precipitation events (droughts and floods) on health, including mental health impacts, and the spread of infectious diseases;

Theme 4. Green Recovery and the Transition to Sustainability

• Describing how the concepts of circular economy and de-growth can provide a framework for jointly achieving climate goals and SDGs;

• Identifying examples of green energy infrastructure that contribute to local and national net zero emission goals as well as universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services (SDG 7);

• Analysing the potential impact of remote working and communication on climate goals and SDGs for energy, sustainable cities, and others;

• Understanding the potential for post-COVID travel patterns and clean transportation systems to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and provide access to safe, affordable, accessible transport systems for all (SDG 11);

• Analysing strategies for net zero energy buildings that reduce the carbon footprint of buildings and ensure access for all to safe and affordable housing and other SDGs and enhance participatory settlement planning and other targets in the SDGs;

• Developing innovative approaches that anticipate and respond to future shocks, factor in uncertainty, and support system-level change towards more equitable and robust development pathways.


The ‘Evidence for Action’ Symposium invites contributions from all disciplines and intellectual traditions. We particularly encourage researchers and development professionals from the Global South to share your evidence and insights.

Extended deadline for submitting abstracts: 19 May, 2021

Expected notification of accepted abstracts: End of May, 2021


If you have any questions, please contact the symposium organiser at Please sign up to our mailing list to receive any updates about the event and follow us on Twitter.


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