IIASA colleagues will join world leaders and diplomats at the 28th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. IIASA researchers are organizing and/or participating in several side events where they will present the latest research on how to reach ambitious targets on climate.

COP28 UAE is expected to convene over 70,000 participants, including heads of state, government officials, international industry leaders, private sector representatives, academics, experts, youth, and non-state actors. As mandated by the Paris Climate Agreement, the event will deliver the first ever Global Stocktake – a comprehensive evaluation of progress against climate goals. COP28 will facilitate a process for all parties to agree upon a clear roadmap to accelerate progress through a pragmatic global energy transition and a “leave no one behind” approach to inclusive climate action.


Launching Event: IIASA-Japan Research Project on City Transformation: Toward Contributing to the IPCC Special Report on Cities
Co-organized by IIASA and the Japan Committee for IIASA with support of the Ministry of Environment, Japan
1 December 2023, 10:30-11:45 (local time)
Venue: Japan Pavilion

IIASA and the Japan Committee for IIASA has started their Joint Research Project on City Transformation in support of the Ministry of the Environment Japan (MOEJ) to contribute to the IPCC Special Report on Cities.

As the first phase of this research project, a report will be developed to synthesize the current understanding of urban transformations to identify critical knowledge gaps. The organizers are coordinating an international workshop scheduled for late February 2024 in Tokyo, Japan. The event will bring together authors of the report and select members of the IPCC Bureau for an in depth discussion of the findings and to establish the next agenda. Subsequent to the workshop, a public symposium will be organized to officially release the report.

This COP28 side event aims to officially launch this project and to address the following key questions:

  • What is the objective of this collaborative research project, and how can it contribute to scientific endeavors and assessments, particularly in the context of the IPCC Special Report on Cities? and
  • What are the subsequent steps? How can scientists, decision makers, businesses, and other stakeholders contribute to the transformation of cities?

Moderator: Kazu Takemoto, Japan Committee for IIASA

  • Opening by MOEJ
  • Keynote Speeches
    • Winston Chow, IPCC/AR7 WGII Co-Chair - “IPCC/AR7 and its Special Report”
    • Leila Niamir, IIASA Research Scholar, Lead of City Transformation Project - “IIASA-Japan Research Project on City Transformation”
  • Panel Discussion


  • Winston Chow, IPCC
  • Keywan Riahi, IIASA (online)
  • Leila Niamir, IIASA
  • Eric Zusman, IGES (online)
  • Yoshiki Yamagata, Keio Univ. (online)


Leila Niamir, IIASA, Niamir@iiasa.ac.at
Kazu Takemoto, Japan Committee for IIASA, Kazu.takemoto0901@gmail.com

Showcasing an innovative Social Intelligence Mining Tool
3-6 December 2023

Cooperation and Transformative Governance Research Group Leader in the Advancing Systems Analysis Program, Nadejda Komendantova, and senior IIASA researcher Hossein Hassani will present and innovative tool developed as part of the Social Intelligence Mining project. The cutting-edge tool is designed to meticulously measure societal perception of climate change policies. This technological advancement is particularly crucial for governments and authorities as they strive to implement effective and well-received climate policies.

On 5 December Hassani and Komendantova will also attend a high-profile press conference organized by the International Association for the Advancement of Innovative Approaches to Global Challenges (IAAI) in the Blue Zone, a designated area for key discussions at COP 28. The collaboration with IAAI underscores the importance of including citizen voices in climate change dialogues, ensuring that policy decisions are informed by robust, data-driven insights into public sentiment.

The IIASA team's presence at COP 28 reaffirms IIASA dedication to addressing climate change and aiding the global transition to sustainable energy. Throughout the conference, the team will engage with various stakeholders in discussions and activities, showcasing the versatility and applicability of their Social Intelligence Mining tool.

By offering this novel tool, the IIASA team demonstrates a commitment to aiding society, governments, and authorities in achieving climate goals. Their presence at the IAAI Pavilion in the Blue Zone is anticipated to attract significant attention from policymakers, researchers, and climate activists eager to understand and utilize this new approach to climate change opinion mining.

This initiative marks a significant step forward in integrating advanced technologies into climate change policy and decision-making, ensuring that the voices of citizens are heard and considered in the global effort to combat climate change.

Official UNFCCC Side Event: Beyond the Global Stocktake to create feasible and just transitions
Co-organized by IIASA, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, Netherlands
4 December 2023, 11:30-13:00 (local time)
Venue: Zone B6, Building 82, UNFCCC Side Event Room 9 (123 pax)

This event presents a multi-model assessment of current implemented policies and ambitions on climate outcomes and proposes ways to strengthen ambition. We explore the effects of addressing feasibility concerns on climate scenarios and dicuss how just transitions can be included in climate scenarios.


  • Implementing policies: Detlef van Vuuren (PBL)
  • Increasing ambition beyond Glasgow: Detlef van Vuuren (PBL) and Pedro Rua Rodriguez Rochedo (COPPE)
  • Implications of feasibility on mitigation: Bas van Ruijven (IIASA)
  • Just Transition scenarios: Elina Brutschin (IIASA)
  • Facilitated discussion: Sonja Klinsky (iGST)


Bas van Ruijven, IIASA, vruijven@iiasa.ac.at

Event recording available here.

UNEP Pavilion Event: The financial system & the quest for net-zero
Organisers: UNEP FI and NGFS
4 December 2023, 16:45-17:30 (local time)
Venue: UNEP Pavilion (Zone: B7, Building 87)

Scientific scenarios are a key tool and provide essential links between policymakers, regulators, financial institutions, and the climate science community. The session will discuss the forms in which these various parties can accelerate and augment cooperation towards net-zero using climate scenarios. It will also go in-depth on the newest scenarios developed in conjunction with the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS), a global group of supervisors and central banks seeking to promote financial sustainability and stability.

Vision of success/event goal: Enhance participants' grasp of the NGFS climate scenarios, emphasizing their relevance in the finance sector and distinctive characteristics. Identify the next steps for the finance sector in incorporating climate scenarios.

Moderator: David Carlin, Head of Risk, UNEP FI


  • Purpose of the NGFS scenarios and do finance supervisors need climate scenarios: Livio Stracca (Chair, NGFS Workstream on Scenario Design and Analysis)
  • Relevance of the NGFS climate scenarios for the financial industry: Dana Brasky (Global Head, Sustainability Strategy and Net Zero, Standard Chartered)
  • What makes the NGFS climate scenarios unique and an overview of the modelling framework: Bas Van Ruijven (Research Group Leader and Senior Research Scholar, IIASA)
  • Relevance of the NGFS climate scenarios for policy makers: Bert Kroese (Chief Statistician, Data Officer, and Director, Statistics Department, IMF)

Event recording available here (time stamp: 07:06:30).

Side Event: Health as entry point for SDG climate synergy: a focus on cities, air pollution and justice
Co-hosted by IIASA and Cambridge University in collaboration with University of Pretoria
4 December 2023, 12:00-14:00
Venue: SDG Pavilion

The recently launched climate/SDG synergies report identified key recommendations for synergistic actions on tackling climate change and SDGs together. In addition, the Pathfinders Commission report launched on 21 November 2023 identified key pathways to create health benefits through climate mitigation actions with action on air pollution and healthy transport featuring prominently. Alongside these policy-focused reports, youth have a critical role to play in informing and shaping urban development for health and climate resilience. Nowhere is this more critical than in Africa and Asia, where the majority of young people live. In these contexts, UrbanBetter, an advocacy platform and public health practice has been deploying novel approaches working with youth as citizen scientists to measure health and climate risks encountered in public space during physical activity.

Structured around the findings from these reports, we propose an action-oriented panel focusing on supporting member states and civil society organizations in developing and strengthening technical and participatory capacities for action at the intersection of health, climate change and SDGs.

The proposed session is co-hosted by partners from policy, civil society and academia.

The session will include a brief presentation on key recommendations from the climate/SDG synergies and Pathfinder reports to frame the presentations.

The presentations that follow will cover evidence and promising practice on

  1. Justice: Youth-led precision-advocacy approaches leveraging citizen science to strengthen science-policy-society interaction and enhance collective capacity to increase demand for healthy climate-resilient public space as part of sustainable urban development
  2. Cities: Policy integration for healthy low carbon transport infrastructure
  3. Air pollution: The role of funding, in general, and development finance institutions in particular, in integrated action that strengthens the use of integrated metrics

We explore with panelists the windows of opportunity for intersectoral policy making and advocacy at the health/SDG/climate interface. We will also explore how panelists perceive the link between implementation realities and what policies provide for; and how advocacy initiatives can support transformative ideas that seek to bridge this gap. The presentations will be followed by open contribution session from participants on other policies and advocacy approaches that they may know or have worked on in their own contexts.

From a logistical perspective:

  • The session is hosted in-person for 60-75 minutes (TBC) and designed to be interactive with capacity building as a central theme to break silos and increase synergies between SDG, climate, and health through policy, finance and advocacy. 
  • The session underlines that actors and decision-makers at all levels and from many sectors have a role in designing and managing healthy and climate-resilient environments using locally relevant SDG-oriented policies. 
  • The session is an opportunity to share existing resources, showcase promising practice on evidence-informed advocacy and discuss the needs and gaps in building capacity for policy-oriented action in climate and health in the context of the SDG agenda.

Thematic focus of the event: Mitigation, Adaptation, Air pollution, Transport and cities, Youth climate and health action, Finance


Tolu Oni, Professor of Global Public Health and Sustainable Urban Development, University of Cambridge, Founder of UrbanBetter Member of UN Expert group on climate/SDG synergies, Member of the Pathfinders Commission on pathways to a healthy net zero carbon future


Setting the scene

  • Luis Gomez-Echeverri, co-chair of the UN Expert group on climate/SDG synergies. (virtual)
  • Sarah Whitmee, Professor, LSHTM & Lead author of Lancet Pathfinder commission.

A focus on finance

  • Jane Burston, Executive Director, Clean Air Fund: producers of the State of Global Air Quality Funding report. Will highlight the importance of funding but also how development finance institutions can institutionalise metrics that integrate SDG and climate reporting while measurement health impact of investments.
  • Bruno Carrasco, Director General, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, Asia Development Bank. (or other representative from ADB). Will speak on experiences from Asia on integrated climate change and sustainable development initiatives.

A focus on policy

  • Reena Gupta, Air Quality and Climate Department, Delhi government, India. Will speak on importance of, and approaches to, air quality monitoring.
  • Manual Araujo, Mayor of Quelimane, Mozambique. Will speak on realities of implementing low carbon healthy transport initiatives and policies, engaging diverse actors to ensure equity and justice.

A focus on justice and youth

  • Olumide Idowu: Co-Founder, International Climate Change Development Initiative; Executive Coordinator, African Youth Initiative on Climate Change; UrbanBetter Cityzen: Using his experience of the Cityzens4CleanAir initiative, will speak to the impact of air pollution on youth and how power of youth, vitality of physical activity and power of citizen science can drive precision activism that shapes healthier climate-resilient and sustainable urban development. Will also focus on the power of driving innovation through technology for sustainable development.

Towards net zero: science perspective 
5 December 2023, 15:00-16:00 (local time)
Venue: Together for Transparency family of events, M36

The event will explore pathways to support the design of the future NDCs and implementation of climate policies for the post-2030 period, consistent with the Paris Agreement and net-zero targets and flag justice and equity perspectives in relation to the net-zero ambitions. 

It will also highlight how transparency systems and tracking progress towards implementation and achievement of the NDC under the Paris Agreement can facilitate the design and implementation of transformative policies.

Moderator: Dr. Ruta Bubniene (UNFCCC, Transparency Division)  

Key questions to be addressed include: 

  • What is needed for implementation of net zero commitments?  
  • What role does research play in facilitating tracking progress towards achievement of NDCs and towards reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement?  
  • What role do transparency systems play in raising global climate ambition, in implementing  NDCs and in fostering accountability of the Parties and non-Party actors?  


Dr. Miriam Hinostroza is a UNEP Focal Point at the UNEP Copenhagen Climate Center.  Her work covers research and policy advice on energy, development and climate change interactions. She has  pioneered applied research on socio-economic impacts of emerging regulatory and market based instruments to mitigate climate change in the Latin America. 

Prof. Detlef van Vuuren is the leading scientist at the Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, the Netherlands and senior researcher at the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency leading the IMAGE integrated assessment modeling team. He is among the few people worldwide that are listed as most highly cited researchers in three different disciplines. Prof. Detlef van Vuuren  worked on the climate scenarios of the IPCC.

Prof. Dr. Niklas Höhne is a co-founder NewClimate Institute, and founder of the Climate Action Tracker.  His research focusses on analysis on national and international climate policy. His work contributed to the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Assessment Reports of the IPCC since 2003 and to all UNEP Emissions Gap Reports since 2010.

Dr. Bas van Ruijven is a Group Leader and Senior Research Scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). His research interests cover energy and technology scenarios to energy transitions in developing countries and the impacts of climate change.

The 9th Global Climate Change Think Tank Forum: Technological and Policy Innovation Promotes Green and Low-Carbon Transformation
6 December 2023, 13:00-14:15 (local time)
Venue: China Pavillion

Side Event UNFCC and UNDESA: Redefining Success: A Just and Equitable Transition through Greater Climate Action and SDG Synergies
6 December 2023, 13:15-14:45 (local time)
Venue: SE Room 7, Blue Zone

Building on the recommendations of the First Climate and SDG Synergy Report and the outcomes of the Fourth Global Climate and SDG Synergy Conference, this event presents actionable steps to accelerate progress on both agendas while upholding equity and just transitions.

Context: Halfway to the deadline for the 2030 Agenda, a mere 15 percent of SDG targets are on track. The climate crisis is worsening as greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. Catastrophic and intensifying heat waves, droughts, flooding and wildfires have become far too frequent. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has called for an urgent course correction, stating that “climate action is the 21st century's greatest opportunity to drive forward all the Sustainable Development Goals" and urging world leaders to come together behind a rescue plan for people and planet — a rallying cry for synergistic action. The first global report on climate and SDG synergies, “Synergy Solutions for a World in Crisis: Tackling Climate and SDG Action Together,” developed by the Expert Group on Climate and SDG Synergy- co-convened by UNFCCC and UN DESA, underscores that addressing climate change and achieving the SDGs are inextricably intertwined, and that o-benefits of synergistic action far outweigh trade-offs. It also demonstrates that by maximizing synergies, we can also bridge investment gaps worth trillions of dollars. Bottom line is that we must act on the climate emergency and sustainable development together now to ensure a just and equitable transition towards a net-zero, climate-resilient future.

Expected outcomes: This event includes a presentation of the key messages and recommendations of the first Global Report on Climate and SDG Synergy. The event features members of the Expert Group on Climate and SDG Synergy as well as other stakeholder, including member states and non-state actors who are championing tackling climate and SDGs together and will be sharing perspectives, experiences, and actionable steps towards accelerating progress on both the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement, while upholding equity and just transitions. The event will also provide insights into key milestones in 2024 where this critical topic of enhancing climate and SDG synergies and deepening its evidence-base can be further advanced.

Guiding questions:

  1. What, in your view, is the most compelling reason to enhance synergies between climate and the SDGs?
  2. Issues of just transitions, equality, and leaving no one behind are critical to both the 2030 Agenda and the Paris goals. Can you provide insights and concrete examples on how synergistic approaches can help uphold these principals?
  3. Significant investments are needed to achieve the SDGs and climate goals, and current financial flows towards these objectives remain hugely inadequate. What financing instruments and opportunities exist to drive both agendas forward in an integrated manner?
  4. A major challenge in adoption of a synergistic approach towards the SDGs and the Paris goals is a weak science-policy-society interface and there remains a sizeable disconnect between scientific evidence and applied policy action. How can this be addressed?


Side Event UNFCCC and UNDESA: Bridging Science, Policy, and Society: Tackling Climate and SDGs in Synergy
8 December 2023, 13:00-14:15 (local time)
Venue: SDG Pavilion, Blue Zone, TA3-210

The event is designed to elevate awareness, drive policy advancements, fortify the science-policy-society interface, and nurture global collaboration. Participants will gain profound insights into the intricate connections between climate action and SDGs, actively contributing to the formulation of policies harmonizing with both objectives. Within the event, the co-convening organizations will unveil the next steps on Climate and SDG Synergy, presenting a roadmap that outlines how this process will underpin the 2024 milestones. This includes pivotal events such as the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), Summit of the Future, COP29, and the Fifth Global Conference on Climate and SDG Synergy, demonstrating a strategic framework for collective action and progress. Engagement opportunities will be presented to grow the network of collaborating partners on this crucial work.


As we approach the 2030 Agenda’s halfway mark, a stark reality confronts us: only 15% of SDG targets are on track, while the climate crisis escalates with rising emissions and escalating environmental disasters. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres urges a course correction, emphasizing that “climate action is the 21st century’s greatest opportunity to drive forward all the Sustainable Development Goals.”

The first global report on climate and SDG synergies, “Synergy Solutions for a World in Crisis: Tackling Climate and SDG Action Together,” developed by the Expert Group on Climate and SDG Synergy- co-convened by UNFCCC and UN DESA, underscores the interconnectedness of these challenges, emphasizing that maximizing synergies can bridge trillions of dollars in investment gaps, highlighting the urgency for collective action on the climate emergency and sustainable development.

However, a weak science-policy-society interface hampers progress in adopting integrated planning approaches. A significant gap persists between scientific evidence and applied policy action, hindering the realization of scientifically verified policies. Addressing this is crucial to ensure robust policies grounded in scientific consensus.

In commitment to advancing synergistic practices, both UN DESA and UNFCCC are resolute. The forthcoming second global report on this topic will be developed in 2024 and will aim to furnish concrete and actionable recommendations, bridging the gap between science, policy, and society for a more effective and integrated approach to planning in synergy.


Decarbonizing Electricity Systems: A Path to Sustainable Energy Future
9 December 2023, 16:00-17:00 (local time)
Venue: COP28 - SDG7 Pavilion

The Vienna Energy Club, bringing together various international institutions active in the energy sector in Vienna (Energy Community, International Atomic Energy Agency, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC Fund for International Development , Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership, Sustainable Energy for All, United Nations Industrial Development Organization, World Energy Council Austria) has long been committed to fostering sustainable energy solutions.

In an era marked by accelerating climate change and growing environmental concerns, the imperative of transitioning towards low-carbon energy systems has never been clearer. Central to this endeavor is the decarbonization of electricity systems, a vital step in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, reducing dependence on fossil fuels, and realizing a sustainable energy future for all.

Electricity systems form the backbone of modern society, powering homes, industries, and transportation systems. However, they are also responsible for a significant share of global carbon emissions. Decarbonizing electricity grids involves a comprehensive transformation that encompasses renewable energy integration, grid modernization, energy storage, policy reforms, and empowerment of consumers. This transition is not only essential for achieving climate goals but also presents immense economic and societal benefits.

Recognizing the urgency of addressing this challenge, the Vienna Energy Club is glad to convene its members at COP28 and organizing a high-level panel event to facilitate discussions, knowledge-sharing, and collaborative efforts among international stakeholders in the energy sector.

Pavilion Agenda


  • Knowledge Exchange: To provide a platform for experts, policymakers, and industry leaders to share insights, best practices, and innovative solutions for decarbonizing electricity systems.
  • Policy Advocacy: To advocate for policies and regulatory frameworks that promote the rapid adoption of clean energy sources and grid decarbonization strategies.
  • Networking: To foster connections and collaborations among international organizations, enabling them to work together towards common energy goals.
  • Public Awareness: To raise awareness among the public, academia, and the business community about the importance of decarbonizing electricity grids and its broader implications for sustainable development.

Panel Discussion:

The event will feature a distinguished panel of experts representing a diverse range of perspectives in the energy sector. The panelists will include:

  • Kanika Chawla, Chief of Staff, SEforALL
  • Hal Turton, Energy Economist, IAEA
  • Prof. Nebojsa Nakicenovic, Deputy Chair, Group of Chief Scientific Advisors, European Commission, former Deputy Director General, IIASA
  • Adebayo Babalola, Director, Strategic Planning Unit, OPEC Fund
  • Austrian government
  • World Energy Council

Q&A and closing:

Moderator: Allison Carlson, Executive Vice President, Head of FP Analytics & Events at Foreign Policy

The panel will engage in a dynamic and informative discussion, addressing key questions such as the challenges and opportunities in grid decarbonization, carbon-free energy supply and demand, policy priorities, technological innovations, consumer engagement, and the role of international collaboration.

In conclusion, the Vienna Energy Club's event on Decarbonizing Electricity Grids aims to catalyze action, foster collaboration, and drive positive change in the global energy landscape. By bringing together experts and stakeholders from diverse backgrounds, we aspire to accelerate the transition towards sustainable, carbon-free electricity grids that will benefit current and future generations.

Target audience: This event is open to COP28 participants interested in learning or supporting electricity grid decarbonization and includes virtual participation.

Contact: Irina Lazzerini, Principal Specialist (Clean Energy), Irina.lazzerini@seforall.org

Side event: Carbon Farming in Kazakhstan: Unlocking the Opportunity
Co-organizers: Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan; International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA); and BRICS Competition Law and Policy Centre
10 December 2023
Venue: The Central Asia Pavilion, Blue Zone, B2-15

Land-based carbon sequestration is a promising strategy to enhance decarbonization through carbon removal for many countries, including Kazakhstan with its largely underutilized, vast areas of steppes and semi-deserts. Degraded soils in arid and semi-arid climatic zones of the Asian Drylands Belt offer large carbon sequestration potential, which may be especially true of the ‘Virgin Lands’ areas that were intensively developed in the second half of the 20th century to expand crop production and are estimated to have lost up to 45% of their soil carbon stock in the process. Carbon farming refers to land management practices at the farm level which either increase the amount of atmospheric carbon sequestered (i.e., captured and stored) by soils and plant biomass or reduce emissions from activities in the Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Use (AFOLU) sector. With proper incentives in place, notably, carbon offset trading, the adoption of carbon farming in Kazakhstan and other countries of the Asian Drylands Belt may generate significant environmental, economic, and social benefits.
This side event will discuss how carbon farming and trading can provide a marked contribution to Kazakhstan’s socio-economic development while making it more resilient to climate change and supporting the country’s commitment to combat environmental degradation and climate change. The side event will explore viable options for leveraging the potential of sustainable land management to support Kazakhstan’s net-zero transition and land restoration and to enable the country’s accelerated economic development and modernization ambitions.

Moderator: Alexey Ivanov, Director of the BRICS Competition Law and Policy Centre 

Keynote speaker: Michael Obersteiner, Director, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford and Principal Research Scholar, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)


  • Mansur Oshurbayev, Vice Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan
  • Xiaoxia Jia, Program Officer, Science, Technology and Innovation, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) (online)
  • Pradeep Monga, Senior Advisor, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and Former Deputy Executive Secretary, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
  • Saule Sabieva, Director, Department of Climate Policy and Green Technology, Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan
  • Nikolai Durmanov, Director of Research, Carbon Benchmarking Site Pokrovksy (online)

Side event: Digital Technology and AI for Carbon Neutrality
10 December 2023, 10:45-12:00 (local time)
Venue: China Pavilion, Blue Zone B-58, Expo City Dubai

Host Organizations:

  • Alibaba Group
  • Newlink Group

Supporting Organizations:

  • Alibaba-NTU Joint Research Institute
  • Tiangong Initiative

Moderator: Wei Liu, UN World Adaptation Science Programme Science Committee Member, Alibaba Group Head of ESG Strategy


Opening Remarks

  • Erik Solheim, President Green Belt and Road Institute
  • Jing Huang, Director, The Administrative Centre for China’s Agenda 21
  • Nebojsa Nakicenovic, Vice Chairman, Group of Chief Scientific Advisors to the European Commission, Former Director of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
  • Erik Berglöf, Chief Economist of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) (online)


Session I Sustainable Digital Technology

  • Erik Solheim, President Green Belt and Road Institute
  • Massamba Thioye, Project Executive UNFCCC Global Innovation Hub
  • Canghai Wan, Regional VP of the Middle East Market, Alibaba Cloud
  • Yang Wang, Founder and CEO of NaaS. “Bit Management Watt: Digital Opportunities under Energy Transformation”


Session II AI for Sustainability

  • Professor Yuan Qi, Director, Institute of Artificial Intelligence Innovation and Industry Research, Fudan University
  • Professor Chunyan Miao, Chair of School of Computer Science and Engineering at Nanyang Technology University (NTU) and Director of the Alibaba-NTU Singapore Joint Research Institute
  • Professor Ming Xu, Associate Dean and Carbon Neutrality Chair Professor, School of Environment, Tsinghua University
  • Nadejda Komendantova, Senior Research Scholar and Cooperation and Transformative Governance Group Leader, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA),Tracking Climate Change via Social Intelligence Mining”

Side event: The SDGs and the GST: a vision for our future
11 December 2023, 09:00-15:15 (local time)
Venue: SDG Pavilion, Thematic Arena 3, space TA3-210

This event will feature the Expert Group on Climate and SDG Synergy Co-Lead Luis Gomez Echeverri.

“We must solve the climate emergency and sustainable development challenges together, or we will not solve them at all.” The outcomes of fir GST Global Stock Take in this critical decade need to send clear and specific signals as to what Parties and non-Party stakeholders could usefully do after COP28 in order to collectively achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, both as part of an immediate response as well as through more ambitious NDCs in 2025. These efforts must also go hand-in-hand with enhancing sustainable development.

The report “Synergy Solutions for a World in Crisis: Tackling Climate and SDG Action Together” highlights this imperative. Published in September, the report illustrates that integrated and synergistic action on climate and development is critical to achieve the course correction needed to build a more sustainable future. It provides data, case studies, an overview of existing barriers, and offers ten recommendations to support enhanced coordination, policy coherence, and revised governance frameworks at national and international levels.

Speakers will outline a theory of change for moving from incremental progress in the UNFCCC to transformational levels of ambition, implementation, and international cooperation. Speakers will elaborate examples of key operational and transformational signals, including the tripling of renewable energy capacity, through the lens of the SDGs, highlighting synergies and trade-offs that can inform and drive effective progress in the GST and beyond COP28. The normative potential of both regimes – UNFCCC and SDG – can be leveraged to ensure that all stakeholders – national governments, local authorities, civil society, the private sector, national level practitioners, multilateral organizations and UN agencies, among others – align their efforts in our global transformation.

Pavilion programme: COP28 SDG Pavilion website.  


  • Kaveh Guilanpour, Vice President of International Strategies, C2ES and contributing expert in the Expert Group on Climate and SDG Synergy


  • Luis Gomez Echeverri, Emeritus Research Scholar at IIASA and Co-Lead of the Expert Group on Climate and SDG Synergy
  • Juan Pablo Hoffmaister, Associate Vice President, Global Climate Cooperation, Environmental Defense Fund
  • Alexandra Deprez or Lola Vallejo, Climate Programme Director, IDDRI
  • Lasse Bruun, Director, Climate and Food, UN Foundation

Questions to guide discussion

  • How could the SDGs best inform, and provide a context for, the GST?
  • How can the GST help to accelerate implementation of the SDGs?
  • How can the synergies between the SDGs and climate action best be exploited in an effective response to the outcomes of the GST in 2024?


  • SDG experts
  • GST and other experts (energy/mitigation, adaptation/L&D, MOI)
  • Key NPS (those representative of sectors, e.g., energy, business?)
  • Interested/available negotiators

Global Stocktake of 2023 Mitigation Implementation through Global/Local Integrated Analysis of GHGs and Air Pollutants Emission
Co-organized by Sookmyung Women's University, Konkuk University, IIASA
11 December 2023, 15:00 - 16:30 (local time)
Venue: Korea Pavilion

The greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants are global issues with unclear national boundaries and they have significant socioeconomic impacts. In this context, Sookmyung Women’s University and Konkuk University are developing the GUIDE-Global/Local models to analyze the integrated impact of ghg emissions and air pollutants at both the global and local levels, in collaboration with IIASA. In this sessions we will present research results related to the comprehensive analysis of ghg emission and air pollutants in South Korea, as well as the findings on the global-scale impact of air pollutants.


Key participants:

  • Prof. Seung-Jick Yoo, Professor, Sookmyung Women’s University
  • Prof. Jung-hun Woo, Professor, KonKuk University
  • Prof, Deok-Young Park, Professor, University
  • Prof. Nebojsa Nakicenovic, Professor, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
  • Dr. Alistair Ritchie, Director, Asia Society Policy Institute
  • Ms. Su-Yeon Jung, Researcher, Sookmyung Women’s University
  • Ms. Yoon-Ji Kim, Researcher, Sookmyung Women’s University

Contact information:
Ms. Su Yeon Jung, Researcher, Sookmyung Women’s University, soo951221@sookmyung.ac.kr / +82-10-4188-2506

Virtual Event: Advancing Climate Action and SDG Synergies: A Way Forward
Joint event organised by the ISC in partnership with the UNDESA, IIASA and Future Africa
11 December 2023, 15:00-16:30 CET, 14:00-15:30 UTC (virtual event)

Addressing climate change and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are inextricably intertwined. Without synergies, the SDGs and climate objectives will remain out of reach. Synergistic action needs be a required component of national commitments, reporting and financing for climate and development goals. Earlier this year, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat co-convened the Expert Group on Climate and SDG Synergy to develop the First Global Report on Climate and SDG Synergies. 

The International Science Council together with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and Future Africa will organise this virtual event during the COP28 to present key benefits for tackling climate and SDGs together, discuss current barriers and enablers for the synergistic action, and outline a framework and existing approaches for synergistic action. 


  • Minoru Takada, Team Leader (Sustainable Energy), Division for Sustainable Development Goals, UN DESA and Head of the Secretariat of UN-Energy
  • Vanessa McBride, Science Director, The International Science Council
  • Luis Gomez-Echeverri, Co-Lead of the Expert Group on Climate and SDG Synergy, Emeritus Research Scholar, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
  • Heide Hackmann, Co-Lead of the Expert Group on Climate and SDG Synergy, Director, Future Africa, University of Pretoria
  • Katsia Paulavets, Senior Science Officer, The International Science Council
  • Elena Rovenskaya, Advancing Systems Analysis Program Director, IIASA


Demand-side solutions to disruptions (side-event in the framework of Energy Demand changes Induced by Technological and Social innovations (EDITS) initiative)
Co-organized by IIASA and the Research Institute of Innovative Technology for Earth, Japan
11 December 2023, 18:00-19:15 (local time)

In-person: Japan Pavilion, Expo City Dubai
Online: hosted by the Japan Pavilion

Register at: https://iiasa.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_OxUPxG0rTS6TUhM_xB4LCQ

Join us in the Japanese Pavilion at the COP28 of the United Nations Climate Change Conference for a seminar on energy security based on a variety of new perspectives. IIASA and RITE organize a thought-provoking event on promising societal and technological transformations that enable a better response to a variety of disruptions. The seminar will discuss energy supply and use disruptions, pandemics, conflicts, as well as more recurring extreme weather events (heatwaves, cyclones, etc.). Innovative demand-based solutions lead to faster, more persistent and more effective outcomes, through focusing on prevention, co-benefits and wellbeing provisions in comparison with supply-side focus.


Moderator: Nebojsa Nakicenovic, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria

18:00-18:05         Welcome and opening Nebojsa Nakicenovic, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria

18:05-18:15         Importance of demand side solutions for the transformation towards net-zero society Keigo Akimoto, Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE), Japan

18:15-18:30         Greater leverage for energy security with demand-side policies Nuno Bento, University Institute of Lisbon (Iscte), Portugal

18:30-18:45         Urban space and society in times of crises: the role of demand-side innovations Diana Ürge-Vorsatz, Central European University (CEU), IPCC Vice-chair

18:45-19:00         The costs and potentials of demand-side interventions from a Global South perspective Joyashree Roy, Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand

19:00-19:15         Moderated panel discussion with speakers: demand-side innovations and their connection to energy security Ensuring wellbeing and access to essential and social services is why society requires materials and energy. This seminar presents the roles of technological, social and infrastructural innovations that can not only lead development to wellbeing to all, but also prerare our infrastructures, cities and rural spaces, societies to be more resilient and increase energy security, even more energy services security.

EDITS is an initiative coordinated by the Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE) and International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), and funded by Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI), Japan.

Side Event: How to promote synergies in Asia and the Pacific: Messages from the Expert Group on Climate and SDG synergies. Synergies event Asia and Pacific
IIASA and Institute for Global and Environmental Strategies of Japan
14 December 2023, 16:00-17:15 (local time)
Venue: online

In May 2023, UNDESA and the UNFCCC secretariat established an Expert Group on Climate and SDG Synergies, consisting of 14 experts with diverse backgrounds. After intensive discussions, the group unveiled its first report entitled “Climate Action and SDG Synergies: Strengthening the evidence base for synergetic action” (hereafter, the “Synergies Report”) at the SDG Summit in September 2023. One of the key messages of the report is that "pursuing win-win synergies by working together to tackle the climate change and sustainable development crises is the only way to correct the path we are on.” The importance of synergies has been mentioned in this year's G7 and G20 communiqués, and there is also increasing scientific knowledge on these themes—for instance, the IPCC and IPBES reports including analyses of synergies. On the other hand, it has been pointed out that there are limited methods when it comes to applying the findings to policy and action, and therefore further research based on actual case studies is crucial.

This event will feature Luis Gomez-Echeverri, emeritus research scholar at IIASA.

Against this backdrop, this ISAP session aims to provide an opportunity for the authors themselves to explain the main points of the Synergy Report, serving to promote better understanding on synergies among a wide range of stakeholders in Japan and overseas, and to consider concrete measures and strategies to promote synergies in the Asia-Pacific region, with a view to preparing a regional version of the Synergies Report.

Draft programme:

  • Introduction - Objectives and programme of this session
     FUJINO Junichi [MC] (Programme Director, Integrated Sustainability Centre, IGES)
  • Video MessageUNDESA (TBC)
  • Findings and main messages from the Synergies Report
     A member of the Expert Group – Luis Gomez-Echeverri Emeritus Research Scholar IIAA
  • Panel Discussion


  • TAKEUCHI Kazuhiko (President, IGES)


  • MORITA Kanako (Senior Researcher, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute) (TBC)

Discussion topics:

  • What kind of synergistic initiatives have been conducted by each organisation?
  • What elements and cases should be included in the Asia-Pacific version of the Synergies Report?

For further information:

For any queries on ISAP 2023, please contact the ISAP2023 Secretariat (isap2023@iges.or.jp, phone: +81-(0)46-855-3720).

The latest agenda and other event information is available on the ISAP website: https://isap.iges.or.jp/2023/en/index.html

Event recording available here.

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