The 7th International Forum for Sustainable Asia and the Pacific (ISAP2015), organized by UNU-IAS and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, was held in Yokohama, Japan on 28–29 July 2015. International experts, government officials and members of civil society engaged in in-depth discussions about concrete steps for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the post-2020 framework for combating global warming, among others.
As one of the prominent speakers at ISAP2015, Jeffrey Sachs (Professor, Columbia University; Special Adviser to UN Secretary-General on the Millennium Development Goals) emphasized the urgency to boost efforts to achieve “socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable economic development”.
Central to that achievement will be “deep de-carbonization” that eliminates CO2 emissions completely by 2070, through “introduction of zero-carbon electricity, energy efficiency and electrification of buildings and transport”. Prof. Sachs stressed that the North-East Asian region has the potential to become a powerhouse for the necessary technological innovation.
When asked to respond to a recent opinion in The Economist, which suggested that the fulfillment of SDGs is not feasible due to estimated high costs, Sachs stated that “it would be the biggest bargain on the planet” and that achieving the SDGs calls for a problem-solving mindset based on ethics.
Prof. Sachs also stressed the importance of careful planning and a government strategy that is aligned with the private sector and civil society. He called for a “new ecosystem of partners” to emerge for a shared commitment to a fair, socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable future.
For more information on ISAP2015 visit the UNU-IAS website.