Publications Development finance

From Aligning with Paris to the SDGs

4 November 2020 - Climate Brief - By : Alice PAUTHIER / Ian COCHRAN, Phd

Climate Action and Sustainable Development are two parts of the same challenge and must be addressed together. Both adopted in 2015, the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development frame a set of global objectives that are deeply connected.  


Since 2015, discussions on the ‘alignment’ either with the climate or sustainable development objectoves have arisen with a need to develop robust frameworks that can support institutions in aligning themselves with these objectives from strategies to operations. This document aims to connect the dots between the climate and the sustainable development community and discuss how to connect – if not unify – alignment approaches.


This Climate Brief discusses how I4CE’s Framework for Alignment with the Paris Agreement could be used as a basis for broader SDGs alignment frameworks. It is intended to serve as a basis for exchange between financial institutions’ practitioners and the think tank and research community who have started to develop and sometimes implement alignment approaches with either climate or sustainable development objectives, or both.


Key messages:


– Alignment requires that both public and private actors look across three dimensions to assess whether their strategies and operations are both consistent with and best contribute to climate and sustainability goals:
– A Comprehensive Scope of Action,
– A Long-Term Time Horizon to Guide Impact,
– An Ambitious Scale of Contribution.

– Alignment approaches should rely on ambitious national pathways or ‘visions’ of how long-term climate and sustainability goals could be met nationally and internationally. How-ever, in practice national pathways are still insufficiently operationalizable and there is an urgent need to develop them.

– To overcome the inherent complexity of addressing both climate change and other SDGs simultaneously, the approach proposed by the 2019 Global Sustainable Development Report appears to be a step forward to guide the development of align-ment methodologies.


To learn more
  • 07/02/2024
    Approaches to meeting the Paris Agreement goals: options for Public Development Banks

    Options for Public Development Banks. Since the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015, several public development banks (PDBs) have responded with structured approaches to align their operations with the Agreement’s expectations (as described in Section 1). However, many PDBs, particularly those in emerging markets and developing economies, are yet to adopt an approach to align with the Paris Agreement (i.e., Paris alignment). As entities whose investment mandates are established by the Parties to the Paris Agreement (i.e., national governments), PDBs have specific obligations derived directly from these Parties’ commitments to act across all policy and regulatory frameworks under their jurisdictions, including for state-owned or state-mandated institutions and agencies. Accordingly, PDBs are expected to operate in a manner that supports the achievement of the Paris goals. More specifically, they are obligated to integrate their activities within the Agreement’s implementation mechanism by providing financial, technical, and capacity building support that is entirely consistent with national low-emission climate-resilient development pathways.

  • 04/19/2024 Foreword of the week
    World bank and IMF Spring Meetings: How can the reformed institutions play a leading role in funding the transition?

    Rethinking how development can be financed to take into account the rising challenges of our time is a fastidious task, especially when thousands of experts, decision makers and practitioners want to leave their print. The outline of the new international financial architecture is being debated again this week, with more questions open for discussion than consensus on the answers. 

  • 04/19/2024 Blog post
    More and better finance: maximising positive climate impacts for a timely transition 

    Since the Paris Agreement in 2015, significant strides have been made to foster the commitment of countries and financial institutions to address the climate crisis and ensure that climate risks and opportunities are considered in investments. However, with emissions required to peak before 2025, our window of opportunity is rapidly closing to keep +1.5°C within reach. Financial needs to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to address adaptation priorities are increasing rapidly in the meantime. Luis Zamarioli Santos and Diana Cárdenas Monar, from I4CE, believe that commitment must urgently translate into action, and action must bring the urgent change the world needs. Both governments and public financial institutions have a central role to play to deliver more and better finance, maximising positive impacts. This blogpost highlights some opportunities to advance in the path for a systemic transformation, involving key stakeholders with a whole-economy approach.  

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