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The impacts of climate change in the Asia-Pacific region threaten to undo hard-won gains in sustainable development that countries have made in recent decades. Poor and vulnerable people, who contribute little to global carbon emissions, are affected the most by climate change and are the least equipped to cope and adapt. The 2024 ESCAP- ADB-UNDP SDG Partnership Report provides an analysis of interlinked challenges of climate change, poverty and hunger as well as solutions from the region related to food systems, jobs and social protection.

Climate change poses major challenges to the environment, economic growth and human development in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. Floods, droughts and cyclones are common in the region and impact poor communities especially. While awareness of these climate impacts is increasing, a sound understanding of their destructive impact on food security and poverty alleviation is still lacking. Climate change is certainly not the sole cause of poverty and hunger, but it is adversely impacting these critical areas and associated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

People’s ability to find productive and decent work can be key for alleviating poverty and hunger. Climate mitigation and adaptation actions are creating new jobs and economic activities. However, raising the quality of these jobs is necessary for them to be a catalyst to achieve SDG 1 (No Poverty) and SDG 2 (Zero Hunger). This policy brief focusses on the impacts of climate change on poor and vulnerable populations particularly in terms of jobs and livelihoods. It further delves into solutions for decent work and just transition with examples from the Asia-Pacific region.