High-level Opening Ministerial: Leadership for Sustainable
Development in the time of Polycrisis
Day: 07th February, 2024 | Wednesday
Time: 7:15 pm to 8:15 pm IST

Session Description

In the past two years, as the hold of the pandemic eased on the world, the international landscape witnessed a series of new geopolitical challenges generating a far-reaching impact on the discussions around climate and energy. The conflict in Ukraine and economic sanctions on Russia had serious implications for energy security. With conflicts intensifying in different parts of Europe and Asia, bilateral relationships between countries face serious threat. Therefore, the need for a global collaboration on climate policies, such as accelerating energy transition, is more pertinent than ever.

A midpoint evaluation of SDG progress on the journey to 2030 revealed that the world is on track to meet only ~15% of 169 targets of the 17 SDGs with 37% going in either reverse gear or showing no progress. Last year was the warmest, driven by climate change and boosted by the natural El Niño weather event. The world grappled with extreme weather events across significant parts of the world – from intense heatwaves and wildfires across Canada and the US to prolonged drought and flooding conditions in parts of east Africa. In the backdrop of escalating climate crises and sliding back of SDGs, as geopolitical realities take precedence, leadership at all levels become instrumental in ensuring that the world remains on track to achieve the climate targets. Environmental stewardship and leadership will be key in encouraging collective action and finding solutions to common global problems.

The umbrella question for this session is: What role can global leaders play to accelerate sustainable development and climate action in a world marked by polycrisis?


The duration of the session is 60 minutes. The addresses should be in the form of verbal interventions only. The format of the session does not allow the use of PowerPoint presentations. The chair/moderator must ensure that panellists adhere to the allotted time for which there will be a timer/buzzer.

  • Moderator’s Remarks: 2 mins
  • Initial Interventions: 4-5 mins
  • Discussants: 20 mins
  • Moderator’s Summary: 3 mins

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