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Welcome to our January Newsletter!

SDSN Deep Decarbonization Pathway Project

On January 6-10, 2014, the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP) held its third in-person meeting in Paris hosted by the International Energy Agency (IEA). Over 120 participants from academia, policy research institutes and think tanks, the private sector and business organizations, governments, and international organizations, attended the meeting. The technology roundtables, organized in association with the WBCSD and the IEA, gathered leading experts on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), nuclear power, solar energy, wind energy, transportation, and energy storage. The DDPP will present draft national pathways for deep decarbonization in a report to the UN Secretary General, published in July 2014, in preparation for the September 23 World Leaders Climate Summit. Revised pathways will be published ahead of the COP21 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to support a positive outcome of the international climate negotiations by December 2015.

Russia SDSN Announced at Gaidar Forum

On January 15, 2014, the Russia SDSN was announced at the Gaidar Forum on Russia and the World: Sustainable Development. The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, which organizes the Gaidar Forum, will host the Russia SDSN as an International Laboratory on Sustainable Development. The Russia SDSN will initially focus on deep decarbonization pathways in Russia and the challenges of long-term macro-economic sustainability.

Jeffrey Sachs Launches Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Sustainable Development

MOOC BannerOn January 21, 2014, Professor Jeffrey Sachs, under the auspices of the SDSN, launched the free, global online course “The Age of Sustainable Development”. The 14-week, university-level course is available through Coursera and open to anyone interested in the field of sustainable development, including students and development professionals working in government, corporations, and non-profit organizations. The course is offered for credit by some several universities who are members of the SDSN. These universities offer local co-teaching.  During the course of 2014, the SDSN will launch additional online courses in collaboration with SDSN members.

Urban SDG Campaign Update

city_dense_buildingsOn January 6, 2014, Cynthia Rosenzweig, co-chair of Thematic Group 9: Sustainable Cities, chaired a side event on “Sustainable Future Cities We Want” organized by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) during the 7th Session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals at the United Nations. A summary statement from the meeting was prepared. On January 7, 2014, Aromar Revi, co-chair of Thematic Group 9: Sustainable Cities, also presented during the 7th Session of the Open Working Group. In addition, the December 2013 Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) Policy Brief expresses explicit support for the Urban SDG campaign. Learn more about the campaign and how your organization can become a supporter at

UWI to become Regional SDSN Center for the Caribbean

The University of the West Indies (UWI) will host a Regional SDSN for the Caribbean. The launch event will be held later this year.

SDSN in Germany

SDSN in Germany 140121 On January 21, 2014, the German Development Institute (Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik – DIE) convened a high-level dinner at the Humboldt Viadrina School of Governance in Berlin to explore opportunities for SDSN activities in Germany. The participants from academia, government, business, and civil society identified a number of promising options that will be pursued in coming months.

Public Consultation on Draft SDSN Indicators to start on 14 February

The SDSN is preparing a report on indicators for Sustainable Development Report. A draft report will be launched for public consultation on 14 February 2014.

New Briefs on Agriculture

This month Thematic Group 7: Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems released two Issue Briefs: “Monitoring the Performance of Agriculture and Food Systems” on January 10 and “Planning and Implementing Action” on January 28.

Informal Leadership Council meeting in Davos

Members of the SDSN Leadership Council met informally in Davos to review the 2014 strategy for the SDSN and to prepare the next meeting of the SDSN Leadership Council hosted by Tsinghua University in Beijing in May 2014.

SDSN in the Media

Jeffrey Sachs in Project Syndicate – Deep Decarbonization – 27 January, 2014

Paul Polman in Huffington Post (video interview) – ‘It’s Just Ridiculous’ To Expect Government To Solve All The Problems Alone – 25 January, 2014

Christiana Figueres in The Huffington Post – Inaction on Climate Change – 23 January, 2014

Jeffrey Sachs in Gulf News – The challenge of deep decarbonisation – 22 January, 2014

Peter Bakker in The Huffington Post – Businesses Can’t Afford to Ignore Climate Change Any Longer – 21 January, 2014

Jeffrey Sachs on Reddit – AMA (Ask Me Anything) – 15 January, 2014

Aromar Revi & David Satterthwaite in Thomas Reuters Foundation – City dwellers seek to transform debate on urban poverty – 13 December, 2013

New Members Welcomed to SDSN

We welcome several new members to SDSN bringing the total to over 100 members.

African Health Economics and Policy Association, Africa-wide

Australian National University – Centre for Climate Economics & Policy, Australia

Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research, UK

Canberra Urban and Regional Futures, Australia

Center for Sustainable Development Udayana University Bali, Indonesia

ClimateWorks Australia, Australia

Economie du Développement Durable et de l’Energie – PACTE-EDDEN, France

Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), Nigeria

Global Infrastructure Basel (GIB) Foundation, Switzerland

Heifer International, USA

Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Japan

Institut Polytechnique Rural de Formation et de Recherche Appliquée (IPR/IFRA) Katibougou

Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

Istanbul University, Turkey

James Cook University, Australia

Kadir Has Üniversitesi, Turkey

Simon Fraser University, Centre for Sustainable Community Development, Canada

Surya University, Indonesia

Syiah Kuala University, Indonesia

The Indonesian Biodiversity Foundation (or Yayasan KEHATI), Indonesia

The Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Indonesia

Universita degli studi di Salerno (UniSa), Italy

Universitas Cenderawasih, Indonesia

Upcoming Events

  • Public consultation of SDSN Indicators Report, 14 February 2014
  • Launch of the Amazon SDSN: Manaus, March 2014

News from Our Partners

  • The Science and Technology Alliance for Global Sustainability invites nominations and applications for the Future Earth Engagement Committee. Future Earth is a 10-year international research programme that will provide critical knowledge to help societies face the challenges posed by global environmental change and to identify opportunities for transformations towards global sustainability. The Future Earth Engagement Committee is expected to be appointed in June 2014, and all applications should be submitted not later than March 14, 2014. Click here to learn more.
  • Researchers from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippines, and the University of California, Berkeley, US, have tested their flood-tolerant hybrid rice in India. The randomized field trails have shown to improve crop yields by almost half. Click here to read more.
  • On January 8, 2014, Andrew Steer, President and CEO of the World Resource Institute, shared his perspectives on anticipated major global developments in economics, business, natural resources and sustainability in the coming year. Click here to watch the presentation. Slides of the presentation are available here.
  • Five members of the Leadership Council have been named among the “Sixteen global sustainability leaders seeking transformational change” by Guardian Sustainable Business. The Leadership Council members listed are: Christiana Figueres (Executive Secretary of UNFCCC), Andrew Steer (President and CEO of WRI), Paul Polman (CEO of Unilever), Peter Bakker (President of WBCSD), and Feike Sijbesma (CEO of DSM). Click here to read more.