Climate change: simultaneous views from above and below | Webinar Recording

We were pleased to host this webinar, presented by:

Sir Peter Gluckman ONZ KNZM FRS 
President, International Science Council 
Director: Koi Tū; the Centre for Informed Futures.

Webinar Abstract

In 2015 in a much more settled geopolitical era, the United Nations unanimously adopted Agenda 2030 which is largely described in the accompanying Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 10 years later, both political and scientific progress has been disappointing; this year the multilateral system will gather for the Summit of the Futures. Climate action is detailed in SDG 13 and like actions across the other sixteen goals, progress has been disappointing.   The reasons are multiple; the failure of political systems to think long-term, the increasingly divided and geopolitically tense multilateral stage, and especially the interconnected nature of the SDGs which makes it difficult to progress on one without considering the others.

Science itself has continued to focus largely on describing the problem with less attention to producing actionable knowledge; the latter requires new modes of doing research. Technological progress is being made but it too has spillover costs. Societies, including our own, will have complex choices to make over employing some technologies which may well be needed or would beneficially change the trajectory of warming.

Actionable knowledge needs to impact on citizens locally, create narratives that bring consensual action, effect policy makers nationally, and hopefully drive nation states to collectively understand that it truly is in their self-interest for more effective global action. This is a major challenge for diplomacy and New Zealand needs to rebuild its efforts in science diplomacy.

The challenge is how to address it in a way that maintains societal cohesion rather than promotes fragmentation and reactions and accusations of alarmism. Neither data nor alarmism alone will change the future. We must address the political reality that all citizens need to accept the tradeoffs and choices that need to be made. How to change the conversation while maintaining a democratic ethos is central to progress in addressing climate change.

Date: Wednesday June 12th
Time: 7:30PM

Portrait photo of Sir Peter Gluckman

Sir Peter Gluckman ONZ KNZM MBChB DSc FRSNZ FTWAS FMedSci FRS FISC is president of the International Science Council (ISC) (2021-2024). He was foundation chair of the International Network of Government Science Advice (INGSA) (2014-2021).  Sir Peter originally trained as a pediatrician and biomedical scientist and holds a Distinguished University Professorship in the University of Auckland where he heads the Centre for Informed Futures, New Zealand.  From 2009-2018 he was the first Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand. He was made a Knight of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2009, made a member of the Order of New Zealand (ONZ, 2015, the highest civilian honour in NZ limited to 20 living New Zealanders) and received the Rutherford Medal (New Zealand’s highest scientific award) in 2001.  Amongst international awards he was awarded Singapore’s highest scientific honour, the Presidential Science and Technology medal in 2021 and the American Association for Advancement of Sciences Science Diplomacy award in 2016.