Event recap: Future Earth at COP23

Photo: Erik Pihl
See resources, including photos and videos, from Future Earth's events at the Bonn Climate Change Conference in November 2017.

This page will be regularly updated as more resources become available.

The United Nations’ annual climate negotiations, the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP23) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), took place on 6 to 17 November 2017. This event brought together delegates from nearly 200 nations to discuss how the world could meet the ambitions of the Paris Agreement on climate change – an international effort to curb human-caused climate change.

Future Earth and members of our community were involved in a variety of side events, press conferences and public events, spread across the two weeks of discussions. All our events emphasised the larger picture of climate change, often placing climate action within the context of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. See below for a summary of each of our events along with resources, including presentations, photos and videos.

Skip to an event:


Reframing the Climate Debate: Enhancing the Paris Agreement and SDG linkages

Organised by: Future Earth, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), University of Venice and University of Maryland.

This event was held twice, once on 6 November and again on 15 November. Both events focused on The World in 2050. This new initiative seeks to develop sustainable development pathways that the world can follow within safe planetary boundaries. Participants in the event discussed how the initiative aims to address a broad spectrum of transformational challenges related to the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Start video at 7:02:00:

Luis Gomez Echeverri (slides here) moderated both events, with a different panel each day:

Monday, 6 November

Manuel Pulgar Vidal

Johan RockströmStockholm Resilience Centre

The World in 2050: Sustainable Development Goals & Paris Climate Agreement within Planetary Boundaries

Keywan Riahi IIASA

Developing pathways to sustainability - the importance of aiming for synergies

Asun St. ClairDNV and Future EarthParadoxes for transformative action: The role of social sciences and the humanities

 Wednesday, 15 November

Bambang P.S. Brodjonegoro

Minister for the National Development Planning Agency of IndonesiaImplementing the Paris Agreement & SDG’s in Indonesia
Nebojsa NakicenovicIIASAThe World in 2050
Carlo CarraroUniversity of VeniceImpacts of the Paris Agreements on Sustainable Development Goals
Nathan HultmanUniversity of MarylandIntegrating national SDG, NDC, and LTS processes with  enhanced research capacity
Pauline ScheelbeekLSHTM and Future EarthClimate change impact on human health

Catalysing Climate Action, Realizing the SDGs: Science, Interconnections & Implementation

Organised by: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS), German Development Institute (DIE), Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) (in cooperation with Future Earth and the World Climate Research Programme)

To realise global sustainability and climate action, the world must appreciate the interconnections between the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement. Science and innovation are key to understanding and supporting integrated implementation of Sustainable Development Goals and climate actions across the Global North and South.

The event was moderated by Imme Scholz of the German Development Institute and the panel consisted of:

Martin Visbeck

GEOMAR and German Committee Future Earth 
Leena ShrivastavaTERI UniversityClimate Action, SDGs and Resilience
Joanes AtelaAfrican Centre for Technology Studies 
Asun St. ClairDNV and Future Earth 
Maria Amparo Martinez ArroyoIAI and INECC 
Edith AderaInternational Development Research Centre

Where and when habitability limits of the Earth will be reached due to climate change?

Organised by: International Council for Science (ICSU), Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), with contributions from United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network (GOA-ON) and Future Earth.

Climate change will shape changes in the natural and the human environment, which might exceed the limits within which some species, including humans, can adapt. Science must explore where and when habitability limits will be reached. The event demonstrated scientific progress in this domain.

Martin Visbeck introduces the side event. Photo: German Committee Future Earth:

The following speakers were involved in the event:

Martin Visbeck

GEOMAR, ICSU, WCRP and German Committee Future EarthWhere and when habitability limits of the Earth will be reached due to climate change?
Jana SillmannCICERO NorwayClimate extremes in a warming world
Markus ReichsteinMax Plank Institute for Biogeochemistry and Future EarthClimate extremes - impacts and risk
cascades for ecosystems and society
Konstantinos AlexopoulosUNECEClimate change impacts and adaptation for transport networks and nodes
Jan NewtonUniversity of Washington and GOA-ONObserving Ocean Acidification:
Working together globally to make a difference locally

#CitiesIPCC: Advancing science to accelerate effective climate action in human settlements

The event was organised by Global Climate Action.

The session promoted and discussed climate action for cities based on science, practice and policy. It brought together representatives from scientific bodies and local, regional and national governments, policy-makers and urban and climate change practitioners. Discussions  addressed the 2018 Science Conference on Cities and Climate Change. The conference, which will take place in March 2018, will focus on improving scientific knowledge and stimulating research underpinning effective and efficient urban responses to climate change. It will also provide inputs to the products of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Seth Schultz, the Director of Science & Innovation at C40, moderated the event and was joined by the following speakers:

Paul Ross

Manager of Economic & Environmental SustainabilityCity of Edmonton
Shannon PhillipsMinister of Environment and ParksProvince of Alberta
William CobbettDirectorCities Alliance
Joan ClosExecutive DirectorUN-Habitat
Boram LeeSenior Scientific OfficerWorld Meteorological Organization
Martina OttoHead of Cities UnitUN Environment
Hoesung LeeChairIPCC
Dr. M. WolffDirector Energy & ClimateGerman Ministry for Education and Research
Aisa Kirabo KacyiraDeputy Executive DirectorUN-Habitat
Janet Sanz CidDeputy Mayor of Ecology, Urban Planning and MobilityCity of Barcelona
Dr. Deon TerblancheDirector of ResearchWorld Meteorological Organization
Jenny GerbasiPresidentFederation of Canadian Municipalities
Mohammed Adjei SowahMayorCity of Accra, Ghana

Global Data to Drive Climate Resilience and Action: An Introduction to Climate Watch and the Partnership for Resilience and Preparedness (PREP)

Climate Watch and PREPdata are new, innovative and data-centered platforms designed to increase the transparency of and access to data to empower informed and efficient decision-making on adapting to and mitigating climate change. The event included a walk-through of Climate Watch and the PREP platforms, focusing on the scope and concept of the two tools and how they can benefit adaptation and resilience practitioners, particularly those in vulnerable regions such as small island developing states (SIDS).

Future Earth is a partner in PREP, which will launch PREPdata in January 2018. This platform provides users from local government, agricultural organisations and more with tools for visualising and mapping a range of climate and socioeconomic data.

Global Climate Data to Build Climate Resilience and Drive Action

The Global Carbon Budget 2017 and tracking progress towards the NDCs

Organised by: the University of East Anglia, University of Manchester and the Global Carbon Project.

Leading researchers unveiled the 2017 Global Carbon Budget at a press conference at COP23, followed by a side event. This new report shows why the global growth in carbon dioxide emissions flattened between 2014 and 2016 and gives projections for 2017. The press conference delved into the drivers of emission reductions in 35 nations over the last decade and tracked progress toward the Nationally Determined Contributions, which were developed through the Paris Agreement. See the full slides for this report.

For more information:

You can also watch this video in Spanish here.

The speakers at the side event included:

Corinne Le Quéré

University of East Anglia and Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Glen PetersCICERO Norway
Rob JacksonStanford University
Asher MinnsUniversity of East Anglia and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Mark NewUniversity of Cape Town
Kevin AndersonUppsala University, the University of Manchester and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research

The 10 Science ‘Must Knows’ on Climate Change

The research community came together to deliver a statement to UNFCCC and national climate negotiators, outlining the rationale for ambitious action to meet the Paris Agreement and laying out how the world can rapidly decarbonise its economies.

The statement was released at a press conference. Watch a video of that event here.

Read the statement here.

10 Science 'Must Knows' on Climate Change

UNFCCC Director of Communications Nick Nuttall chaired the press conference, joined by:

Patricia Espinosa

UNFCCC Executive Secretary
Johan RockströmStockholm Resilience Centre
Wendy BroadgateFuture Earth
Hans Joachim SchellnhuberPotsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

2020: The necessary, desirable and achievable turning point to safeguard our climate

If global carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise beyond 2020, or even remain level, the  commitments set through the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals agreed on in 2015 become unattainable.

Read the full report: 2020: The climate turning point

The full event can be viewed online here.

Mission 2020: Roadmap for rapid decarbonisation

Mary Robinson, the President of the Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice, chaired the event, joined by:

Christiana Figueres

Mission 2020
Johan RockströmStockholm Resilience Centre
Kevin AndersonUppsala University, the University of Manchester and Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Hans Joachim SchellnhuberPotsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

SDG Media Zone

The Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI), Future Earth's strategic partner in Latin America,  teamed up with the PVBLIC Foundation to launch a campaign around "Science for Action." They shot on-camera interviews and launched discussions about how the world can build "action towards a sustainable future."

Public event on Cities and Climate

Organised by: German Committee Future Earth in collaboration with Future Earth, in particular the Urban Knowledge-Action Network

The project group “SDGs at the urban level" and the working group “Urban sustainability transformations” came together to deliver a two-hour morning session on “How do cities contribute to the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the SDGs? A view from Germany.”

The afternoon featured a workshop with city planners led by Kerstin Krellenberg, Florian Koch and Barbara Malburg-Graf.

Speakers and panelists at the morning session included:

Kerstin Krellenberg

German Committee Future Earth, Tilia and UFZ
Ashok SridharanMayor of Stadt Bonn
Florian KochGerman Committee Future Earth and UFZ
Barbara Malburg-GrafGerman Committee Future Earth
Thorsten KieferFuture Earth
Marie-Alexandra KurthCities Alliance and Future Earth Urban Knowledge-Action Network
Peter PätzoldDeputy Mayor for Urban Design and Environment, City of Stuttgart
Cornelia RöslerHead of the Department of Environment, DIFU German Institute of Urban Affairs
Reiner Erben

Deputy Mayor for Environment, Sustainability and Migration, City of Augsburg