Climate Change, Globalisation and the Vulnerability of Cities


  • DATE / TIME:
    2018•07•06    14:00 - 16:30

    UNU-IAS and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) will co-organise a public seminar entitled Climate Change, Globalisation and the Vulnerability of Cities.

    In the three years since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have become increasingly recognised by diverse stakeholders within Japan. Nevertheless, as cities, businesses, and the general public continue to drive efforts to achieve the SDGs, growing urbanisation, consumption demands, and changing lifestyles are leading to an ever-increasing dependence on non-renewable resources such as fossil fuels.

    In his keynote address, Professor William Rees (recipient of the 2012 Boulding Prize in Ecological Economics, Blue Planet Prize laureate, and co-developer of “ecological footprint” analysis) will reflect on such issues in the face of an uncertain future, raising new questions about the prevailing model of urban sustainability. For instance, what actions and incentives can governments leverage to promote energy conservation and expand viable alternatives, to innovation? How can circular economy approaches help to minimise energy and material demands given escalating resource constraints? Where can private investments be best mobilised to support new business models, products, and services that benefit the public good?

    Professor Rees’ keynote address will also focus on risks and challenges facing international cities given resource limitations, population growth, and food security issues emerging across the globe. Following the keynote address, the event will invite representatives from various groups including cities, the private sector, academics, researchers, and the wider public to exchange views on Japan’s current trajectory and future implications for the promotion of sustainable cities.

    Before Professor Rees’ keynote, Ms. Yuko Nishida from Japan’s Renewable Energy Institute will discuss recent developments in Japanese cities. Ms. Nishida’s extensive expertise includes longstanding work with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government on climate policies and international environmental cooperation projects, collaboration with the C40 Cities Initiative.

    Background of Prof. William Rees

    William Rees is a human ecologist, ecological economist, Professor Emeritus and former Director of the University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning in Vancouver, Canada. Prof. Rees is perhaps best known in ecological economics as the originator and co-developer of “ecological footprint analysis”. He is the recipient of both the 2012 Boulding Prize in Ecological Economics and a 2012 Blue Planet Prize (jointly with Dr. Mathis Wackernagel).

    Date & Time 6 July 2018 (Friday) 14:00–16:30 (registration starts from 13:30)
    Organisers Institute for Global Environmental Strategies(IGES), United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability(UNU-IAS)
    Supporters Environment Research and Technology Development Fund, S-16,
    “Policy Design and Evaluation to Ensure Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns in the Asian Region”
    Language English and Japanese (with simultaneous interpretation)
    Fee Free
    Registration Please register here by 29 June
    Programme Full programme is available here

    UNU HQ Building, Elizabeth Rose Hall (5F)
    5-53-70 Jingumae