UN Weeks Symposium Promotes Integrated Action for Climate and the SDGs


  • 2022•10•24     Online

    On 18 October 2022, UNU-IAS contributed to an online symposium during the United Nations Weeks held at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan, focusing on the interlinkages between the Paris Agreement and the SDGs. Bringing together experts from public and private sectors, the session discussed practical solutions for a more sustainable future. The event was organised by Sophia University and Global Compact Network Japan with the support of UNU-IAS and the Global Environmental Outreach Centre (GEOC).

    In a keynote speech, Masachika Suzuki (Adjunct Professor, UNU-IAS; Professor, Sophia University) discussed Japan’s past initiatives on environmental issues and the emerging concept of science tourism, which extends beyond eco- and sustainable tourism. He noted that telework and decentralised business practices could help overcome sustainability challenges caused by the urban-rural divide.

    Akio Takemoto (Programme Head, UNU-IAS) emphasised that the synergies between climate action and sustainable development must be considered from a global perspective. Reflecting on the outcomes of COP26 held in Glasgow in 2021, he stressed that the implementation phase required the involvement of all stakeholders. Although global measures tackling climate change and sustainable development challenges tend to focus on carbon-neutral technologies and finance, such measures should also address social issues while avoiding trade-offs and leaving no one behind. Dr Takemoto called for further research on synergistic actions and applying a systemic approach for a just transition. He also stressed that local climate action must consider the context of the global supply chain.

    During the panel discussion, participants discussed sustainable business efforts addressing climate change, disaster risk, and supply chain management, and local government initiatives tackling underpopulation, natural disasters, and food security.

    In closing remarks, Toshio Arima (Chairman of the Board, Global Compact Network Japan) highlighted the role of the private sector in solving global challenges by addressing social and environmental issues through economic development.