04 November 2017 - 05 November 2017
Bonn, Germany (Participation by invitation only)

Climate action and human wellbeing at a crossroads

Historical transformation or backlash? Just before the COP23 climate negotiation in November 2017, IIASA and the German Development Institute co-host this high-level conference on the nexus of human development, climate, and the environment.

©Henryk Sadura | Shutterstock

©Henryk Sadura | Shutterstock

In 2015 two historical agreements on how to fight poverty and inequality, create jobs and make the global economy fit for the 21st century, within planetary boundaries, have been achieved: The Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The message is clear: fighting poverty, inequality, and the ecological crisis need to go hand in hand. Our existing growth patterns cannot continue, because they will trigger dangerous tipping points in the Earth system. Two years after signing the global agreements, tremendous efforts by many stakeholders around the world have demonstrated that the transformation towards sustainability is possible. At the same time, the sustainability transformation is under serious threat, as global cooperation is challenged by nationalism, populism, and post-factual thinking. Human wellbeing, peace, security, and the stability of the Earth system are at a crossroads.

We have two choices – will we let this unique opportunity for a global transformation towards sustainability slip through our hands or will we take action towards a future that coincides with the planetary boundaries?

Crossroads Conference Bonn, Day 2, 5 November 2017

About the conference

In November 2017, the world will look to Bonn at COP23, where the details for implementing the Paris Agreement will be negotiated.

Back to back with COP23, the conference "Climate Action and Human Wellbeing at a Crossroads: Historical Transformation or Backlash?" will send a strong signal for decisive steps towards the accelerated implementation of climate and sustainability commitments. In this spirit, it will bring together influential high-level actors from academia, civil society, business, international organizations, national and subnational governments, as well as media and the arts from around the globe to:

  • call for accelerating action to jointly implement the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement;
  • demonstrate that the transformation is urgently needed and possible;
  • build broad transnational alliances for change;
  • discuss how to deal with nationalist and authoritarian counter-transformations that could undermine peace, stability, and human wellbeing.

More information 
Conference website 

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Last edited: 10 November 2017


Nebojsa Nakicenovic

Distinguished Emeritus Research Scholar Transformative Institutional and Social Solutions Research Group - Energy, Climate, and Environment Program

Luis Gomez Echeverri

Senior Advisor to the Program Advancing Systems Analysis Program


Climate Action and Human Wellbeing at a Crossroads: Historical Transformation or Backlash?


International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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