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On the heels of the recently concluded climate change negotiations in Paris, the United Nations Secretary General’s Scientific Advisory Board focused on harnessing the full potential of science and knowledge, including social sciences and local and indigenous knowledge, to realize fully the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Organized by UNESCO, and hosted by the Russian Federation in Saint Petersburg, the board members used their fourth meeting to finalize the results of their Delphi Study on the Top Challenges for the Future of Humanity and a policy brief on the Data Revolution. In addition, the board will flesh out future briefs on assessing the risk of climate change and the role of science in the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
While the Board welcomed the binding climate agreement adopted in Paris as a strong commitment from the international community toward a sustainable future, it encouraged investments in science to help countries stay well below the 2°C threshold and to assess the potential risk of going over. This investment should support research and the translation of science into action for society.
The central function of the Board is to provide advice on science, technology and innovation for sustainable development to the Secretary-General and to the UN system. Hosted by UNESCO, the Board brings together the collective capacity of all relevant scientific fields, with due regard to social and ethical dimensions of sustainable development.