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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on October 24th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

Irith Jawetz reported from Vienna about Day 1 of the Conference – October 24rd, 2012 which happens to be the days after the last face-to-face Debate of the 2012 US Presidential contest. The inevitable just happened and American Economist Thomas Schelling depicted the present situation in the US as a country with two main parties competing – one which believes in Climate Change but does not do enough about it, and one which does not deal with Climate Change {and past experience is that it has a soft spot in their heart for those that claim that it is better not to listen to real scientists.}

Opening Session:

Welcome Statement by Pavel Kabat, Director/CEO IIASA, thanking President Heinz Fischer for his support, and mentioning that UNSG Ban Ki-moon was not going to be here  but is sending a video message which we saw later on further giving a short history of IIASA.
Karl Heinz Töchterle, Federal Minister for Science & Research of Austria, acknowledged, among other things, the great achievements of IIASA.
IIASA was established 40 years ago to promote East West collaboration during the Cold War, and it has work ed towards International cooperation until today,  He said challenges cannot be answered on a national level, and that is why an Institution like IIASA is so important.
Then came a video message from the General Secretary Ban Ki-moon who thanked the Austrian Government and IIASA for hosting this conference and said IIASA is very well respected at the UN.
Federal President Heinz Fischer was next and gave the opening address. He said he was happy to be present at the Conference. Delegates from all over the world have come to Vienna and, although he knows that the conference will take up most of their time, he hopes very much that they will also have some time to enjoy the Cultural and Social advantages of this City. He asked the delegates to take some time off and enjoy this very hospitable city.
He also made notice of the establishment of IIASA during the Cold War, and mentioned the Helsinky Conference in 1975  where Chancellor Kreisky, President Johnson, and Prime Minister Kossigyn, agreed on scientific cooperation.

IIASA was established in 1972 in Laxenburg,  and the son in law of Mr. Kossigyn was its first President of IIASA. Thus it had very good contacts to Moscow and the West from its beginnings. It is a very important institution working to find solutions leading to human well being. He wished everybody a successful conference.
The First High Level Session dealt with Science Support for Global Transitions.  You have to look at the speakers further on. The basic consensus was that there need to be more cooperation between scientists and Governments and scientists and policy makers.

Thomas Schelling, Nobel Prize winner in Economics, made an interesting remark stating that in the United States there are two parties, one which believes in Climate Change but does not do enough about it and one which does not deal with Climate Change.
We have to convince governments to listen to scientists and work together with them.

Climate Change has been a study by itself.

Second High Level Morning Session  – Policy Support for Global Transitions: dealt, among other topics, with educating young people about Climate Change and the importance of Science in education.
—————
Afternoon:
Session 2:      Drivers of Global Change – People, Institutions and Technology: A System Prospective –

Thomas Schelling stressed the importance of the English language in Science and the importance of girl’s education, Yolanda  Kakabadse, President WWF International, talked about the importance of Civil Society and the necessity to take theory into action and the necessity to think out of the box and build bridges between Science & organizations that will do the work.   Again – science alone is not enough.

the next session was about food and water and was more technical with lots of charts. Jacqueline  McGlade showed a short film on destroying nature and the conclusion was that in 2030 we will need two planets. She gave a more emotional presentation and mentioned three things we need to do:

Re-Use;    Re-Cycle;   Re-think.

More people need to get involved and participate in science and help the scientists by telling them what is happening in their world.
David Grey also said that science without policy is just science. This was the consensus through the day.
The last session was The Multiple Co-benefits of a Cleaner, More Equitable World – Energy and Climate Change. This was also to scientific and specific.
Keywan Riahi mentioned a study – GEA (Global Ebergy Assessment) and quoted from it.
Zbigniew Klimant talked about co-benefits of neat-term climate change mitigation and you can find some of his findings on gains.iiasa.at.
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Australia joins IIASA

IIASA  announced concurrent with the first day of the meeting that Australia will become its newest member – the 20th – country.

Australia’s largest national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), will serve as Australia’s National Member Organization (NMO), joining a group of 19 other national science organizations that fund IIASA and help guide the Institute’s research priorities.

In welcoming the announcement, CSIRO Chief Executive Dr. Megan Clark said that there were very significant synergies to be realized by bringing together IIASA and CSIRO’s internationally regarded systems science, especially in the areas of water, energy, climate and food. “I am confident that our membership of IIASA will provide a very positive platform to further strengthen Australia’s global connections in these critical areas for humanity,” Clark said.

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The full program of presentations and discussions of October 24th was:

9:00-9:30
Welcome Statement by Pavel Kabat, Director/CEO, IIASA
Opening Addresses:

Karlheinz Töchterle, Federal Minister for Science and Research of Austria

Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General (video message)

Heinz Fischer, Federal President of the Republic of Austria

Moderator:

Nisha Pillai, Former BBC News Anchor

9:30-10:15
HIGH-LEVEL SESSION: Science Support for Global Transitions
Statements:

Gusti Muhammad Hatta, Minister of Research and Technology, Republic of Indonesia

Nina Fedoroff, Chair, AAAS Board of Directors; Distinguished Professor, Biosciences, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia; and Evan Pugh Professor, Penn State University

Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

Yuan-Tseh Lee, Nobel Prize Recipient (Chemistry) and President, International Council for Science (ICSU)

Carlo Rubbia, Nobel Prize Recipient (Physics) and Scientific Director, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) e.V.

Thomas Schelling, Nobel Prize Recipient (Economics) and Distinguished Professor, University of Maryland

Moderator:

Nisha Pillai, Former BBC News Anchor

10:15-11:00
HIGH-LEVEL SESSION: Policy Support for Global Transitions
Statements:

Johannes Kyrle, Secretary General, Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs of Austria

Kandeh K. Yumkella, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Sustainable Energy for All; Director General, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO); and Chairman, UN-Energy

William Colglazier, Science and Technology Adviser to the US Secretary of State

Sergey Glaziev, Presidential Counselor, The Administration of the President of the Russian Federation

Andrew Johnson, Group Executive, Environment, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and IIASA Council Member

Eun-Kyung Park, Ambassador for Water Resources, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Republic of Korea

Björn Stigson, Chairman, Stigson & Partners AB and Former President, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

Moderator:

Nisha Pillai, Former BBC News Anchor

11:00-11:45
Coffee break and Press Conference
A WORLD IN TRANSFORMATION—EXPECTATION, POTENTIAL, REALITY
Today’s world is undergoing fast-paced, unprecedented global transformations. These changes include new levels of globalization and market integration, fundamental shifts in economic and global power from west to east and north to south, environmental challenges from location-specific to global scales, and unpredictable social conflict. This session will focus on characterizing and better understanding these changes and their main drivers. It will explore possible futures for the world we live in and also how people, institutions, and technology might combine to determine the dynamics and the direction of change.
11:45-13:00
Session 1: Global Transformations—Understanding the World We Live in and its Possible Futures

Transformative changes are more than just marginal deviations from “business as usual”. They include phases of radical change and sometimes turbulence, interlaced with phases of development and decline as we move toward new configurations. Moreover systems are not changing in isolation, but are interfering with each other resulting in ever more complex patterns. For population dynamics in natural systems or human societies such patterns can be described just as in technological systems, e.g., of the substitution of one technology for another. Sometimes dynamics of land-cover change as well as revolutions in political systems follow such behavior.

The industrial revolution catapulted humanity to unprecedented but uneven levels of affluence and amplified the reach of human activities to such an extent that it was proposed to name the present geologic epoch the “Anthropocene”, to highlight the enormous, unintended impact that our actions have inflicted at a global and geologically significant level. Examples include modifications of the global nitrogen and phosphorus cycles, biodiversity loss, amplified greenhouse gas concentrations, stratospheric ozone depletion, ocean acidification, overexploitation of global freshwater, changes in land use (deforestation, desertification, soil loss etc.), atmospheric aerosol loading, and chemical pollution.

Moderator:

Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director, European Environment Agency (EEA)

Framing Presentations:

Jeffrey Sachs, Director, The Earth Institute at Columbia University and Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (video message)

The New Millennium Goals – After Rio+20: What Next

Nebojsa Nakicenovic, Deputy Director/Deputy CEO, IIASA and Professor, Vienna University of Technology

Global Transformations Toward Sustainable Futures

Panel Presentations:

Katherine Richardson, Professor, Biological Oceanography and Leader, Sustainability Science Centre, University of Copenhagen

Sustainability Transformations

Björn Stigson, Chairman, Stigson & Partners AB and Former President, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

Business for Sustainable Development

Berrien Moore III, Dean, College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences; Director, National Weather Center; and Vice President, Weather and Climate Programs, University of Oklahoma

Earth Systems Boundaries

Rapporteur:

Jessica Jewell, Research Assistant, Energy (ENE) Program, IIASA

Statement:

Günter Liebel, Director General, Head of Department General Environmental Policy, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management of Austria

Statement on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management of Austria

13:00-14:30
Lunch and Poster session
Sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management of Austria and IIASA
(Breakout Activities: Posters, research tools, publications, and much more will be on display throughout the conference.)
14:30-15:45
Session 2: Drivers of Global Change—People, Institutions, and Technology: A Systems Perspective

While demographic, economic, and technological developments are generally recognized as basic drivers of transformative change, the interactions of their dynamics present a major challenge and an area from which significant new insights are possible. How, for example, does education affect demographic processes or economic development? What differences do distributional and spatial income variations make to the behavior of the coupled social-environmental systems? What is the appropriate scale to study each of those phenomena? What will it mean to add another three billion, predominantly urban, healthier, and longer-lived people to the global middle class? What technologies, norms and institutions are effective in propagating sustainable production and consumption? What are the new challenges in modeling drivers and scenarios to depict alternative development pathways?

Moderator:

Dirk Messner, Director, German Development Institute (DIE)

Framing Presentations:

Wolfgang Lutz, Leader, World Population (POP) Program, IIASA, Founding Director of the Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital, and Director of the Vienna Institute of Demography (VID)

Human Resources for Sustainable Development: Population, Education and Health

Charlie Wilson, Research Scholar, Transitions to New Technologies (TNT) Program, IIASA and Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of East Anglia

Technology: The Art of the Science of the Possible

Panel Presentations:

Thomas Schelling, Nobel Prize Recipient (Economics) and Distinguished Professor, University of Maryland

Economics of Global Change

Yolanda Kakabadse, President, WWF International

The Importance of Civil Society

Adil Najam, Vice Chancellor, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) and IIASA Council Member

Governance and Institutions

Justin Yifu Lin, Professor and Honorary Dean, National School of Development, Peking University and Former Senior Vice President, Development Economics, and Chief Economist, World Bank (video message)

The Quest for Prosperity: How Developing Economies Can Take Off

Rapporteur:

Simon de Stercke, Research Assistant, Transitions to New Technologies (TNT) Program, IIASA

15:45-16:15
Coffee Break
A WORLD OF INTEGRATED SOLUTIONS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT—THE POWER OF SYSTEMS ANALYSIS
This session will focus on the power of systems analysis to provide integrated, science-based solutions to major global challenges. It will explore these challenges from the perspective of IIASA’s three major research areas: Energy and Climate Change; Food and Water; and Poverty and Equity. This requires in depth understanding and analyses of interactions, both within and between these areas. Moreover, the spatial and temporal dynamics of each challenge needs to be considered to anticipate synergistic effects and unintended consequences to optimize interventions.
16:15-17:30
Session 3: Respecting Nature’s Boundaries for a Fair and Secure World – Food and Water

Human exploitation of land, marine, and freshwater resources has resulted in land and vegetation degradation over vast areas, overuse of marine resources, depletion of aquifers, and the unsustainable restructuring of natural landscapes. These trends are escalating under climate change. This panel will consider how new technologies, investment strategies, policies, and institutional innovations can ensure not only sufficient food and water resources for the planet, but that those resources are developed to allow environmental sustainability objectives to be met and that everyone, especially those living in poverty, receive their share.

Moderator:

Carlos Nobre, National Secretary, Secretariat of Policies and Programs in Research and Development, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Brazil and IIASA Council Member

Framing Presentation:

Sabine Fuss, Research Scholar, Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program, IIASA

Food Security in an Uncertain World

Ulf Dieckmann, Leader, Evolution and Ecology (EEP) Program, IIASA

Future Oceans: Meeting the Challenges of Securing Aquatic Food Resources

Panel Presentations:

Joseph Alcamo, Chief Scientist, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

The Global Water Quality Challenge

Nina Fedoroff, Chair, AAAS Board of Directors; Distinguished Professor, Biosciences, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia; and Evan Pugh Professor, Penn State University

Where Will the Food Come from in a Hotter, More Crowded World?

Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director, European Environment Agency (EEA)

Food and Sustainable Environment

David Grey, Visiting Professor, School of Geography and the Environment, Oxford University and Honorary Visiting Professor, Exeter University

The Challenges of Transboundary Water Management in a Changing World

Rapporteur:

Hugo Valin, Research Scholar, Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program, IIASA

17:30-18:45
Session 4: The Multiple Co-benefits of a Cleaner, More Equitable World – Energy and Climate Change

Lack of access to modern energy services imposes enormous health costs and impedes economic development, while the use of fossil fuels by modern, industrialized societies threatens to irreversibly alter the Earth’s climate. Transformation to a low-carbon energy system is critical, as global energy production, currently generated largely by fossil fuels, will increase significantly if the nearly three billion people currently living without modern energy are to gain access. This panel will focus on reframing the climate change debate, using a transformation of the energy system as the catalyst for green growth, sustainable development and resource efficient economies. IIASA will contribute by outlining a framework to achieve a decarbonized, more climate sensitive and socially equitable world.

Moderator:

John Schellnhuber, Director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Chair, German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU)

Framing Presentations:

Keywan Riahi, Leader, Energy (ENE) Program, IIASA

The Next Global Energy Transformations: Costs and Multiple Benefits

Zbigniew Klimont, Research Scholar, Mitigation Of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases (MAG) Program, IIASA

Co-benefits of Near-Term Climate Change Mitigation

Panel Presentations:

Carlo Rubbia, Nobel Prize Recipient (Physics) and Scientific Director, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) e.V.

New Energy Infrastructures

William Nordhaus, Sterling Professor of Economics, Yale University

Climate Change Policy: The Central Role of Carbon Prices

Kenji Yamaji, Director-General, Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE) and Professor Emeritus, University of Tokyo

Energy Transformations in Japan

Rapporteur:

Jens Borken-Kleefeld, Research Scholar, Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases (MAG) Program, IIASA

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The night before Day 1 – that is the Tuesday the 23rd Gala Evening – included the lecture and the “knighting” of Dr. Norman Neureiter of the US who was awarded the AUSTRIAN CROSS OF HONOUR FOR SCIENCE AND ART 1st Class on behalf of the Federal President of the Republic of Austria.

Day 0 / 1900 Pre conference Gala Dinner at the Hofburg Festsaal


Day 0 / 1900 Pre conference Gala Dinner at the Hofburg Festsaal


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