Integrating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into Urban Climate Plans in the UK and Japan: A Text Analysis


Cities are increasingly adopting potentially sustainable climate plans. Integrating the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into these plans could help stabilize the climate while generating jobs, narrowing equity gaps, fostering innovation, and delivering other sustainability benefits. Yet, how much cities are integrating the SDGs into climate plans remains poorly understood. This article shed light on this question with a text analysis of SDG “keywords” in climate plans for two British and two Japanese cities. The results revealed that none of the surveyed cities have connected climate with socioeconomic priorities covered in SDG1 (poverty), SDG8 (employment), SDG5 (gender), and SDG10 (inequalities). Meanwhile, the United Kingdom cities made more connections between climate and responsible consumption and production (SDG12) than the Japanese cities. Further, Kyoto, Japan shares a climate-SDGs linkages profile that resembles the United Kingdom cities more than Kawasaki. Though not without limitations, text analysis can facilitate the city-to-city peer learning needed to make urban climate plans sustainable within and across countries.