On 9 October 2018, the UNU Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) organised the Future Outlook on the World in 2050 Initiative (TWI2050) seminar, together with the Japan Committee of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES). The aim of this seminar was to raise awareness and enhance collaboration between IIASA and the Japanese research community.
Dr. Kazuhiko Takemoto, Director of UNU-IAS and Councillor of the Japan Committee of IIASA, highlighted the importance of science and understanding of synergies and trade-offs for sustainable transformation to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To this end, UNU-IAS, NIES, and Keio University have begun a new research initiative on Inclusive Research on Integrated Implementation Methodology towards Achievement of the SDGs.
Dr Nebojsa Nakicenovic, Deputy Director General of IIASA, delivered a keynote lecture on the scientific background of SDGs, interlinkages between the 17 goals, and pathways for attaining sustainable development beyond 2030. He introduced the first report published by TWI2050, “Transformations to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals”, and offered an update on the IPCC “Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees C”, which was approved on 8 October and will be a key scientific input to the forthcoming COP24 to the UNFCCC.
He emphasised that climate change is closely linked to the SDGs, and that combined measures to adapt to climate change and reduce emissions can have multiple benefits for the SDGs. He stressed that the transformation towards sustainable development requires holistic perspectives and effective and inclusive governance.
Dr Kiyoshi Takahashi (NIES) called for an alignment of climate policies with other SDGs, and for better understanding of the linkages, trade-offs, and co-benefits between climate and other policies such as air pollution.
Other speakers included Dr Miho Kamei (IGES), Dr Tsuyoshi Fujita (NIES), and Prof. Norichika Kanie (Keio University).
A panel discussion further addressed how to achieve the SDGs, including prioritisation of challenges, the importance of finance mobilisation, the role of the private sector, and consideration of poverty and inequality, by responding to the questions raised by the audience. The seminar concluded that a science-based, long-term vision and shared understanding among multi-stakeholders are required in the efforts towards achieving the SDGs and acknowledged the need to take a multi-disciplinary approach, strengthening collaboration in the science community.
For more, see the news story on the UNU-IAS website.