SDSN Global Climate Hub was launched on the 6th of July, in a pre-COP27 event that took place at the Academy of Athens, by Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and Maria Cortes-Puch, Vice President of SDSN. The Chair of the SDSN Global Climate Hub will be Prof. Phoebe Koundouri, Professor at Athens University of Economics and Business and Denmark Technical University, as well as Director of the Sustainable Development Unit at ATHENA Information Technologies RC and Co-Chair of SDSN Europe. Prof. Yannis Ioannidis, Prof. Christos S. Zerefos and Prof. Andreas Papandreou, will support the Hub as Co-Founders.
The Hosts of the Global Climate Hub are Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB) and the Athena Research & Innovation Center in Information Communication & Knowledge Technologies both of which belong to the Alliance of Excellence for Research and Innovation on Αephoria (AE4RIA) that Professor Koundouri directs.
Professor Koundouri introduced the mission of the Hub:
“Recognizing the global climate crisis and the need for leaders worldwide to take immediate decisive action to reduce the causes of climate change, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network or “SDSN” Global Climate Hub has made it its mission to provide science-based recommendations for combating the climate crisis and preventing further deterioration. It will use extensive data, knowledge, and technologies provided by experts in various fields to implement country-specific action plans to be adopted and reinforced by society. Solution pathways included in these plans will include elements such as: (1) Existing technologies, (2) Circular economy, (3) Nature-based solutions, (4) Digitalization, (5) Innovation commercialization, (6) Sustainable finance and adaptation investment schemes, and (7) Policy reforms.”
The launch event included presentations on the mission and approach of the SDSN Global Climate Hub and speeches by Ministers and officials from the Greek government. In particular:
Christos Stylianidis, Minister for the Climate Crisis, outlined that the SDSN Global Climate Hub in Athens highlights the role of Greece in the global effort, as a research hub for climate crisis and will give to the Greek scientific community and policy making institutions a key purpose: to examine, analyze and propose specific actions. Find more here
Christos Dimas, Deputy Minister for Research and Technology highlighted that Greece can emerge as the central research and innovation hub in the Balkans and South-Eastern Europe, making use of its talented human resources. Many of these innovation are focused on the transition to climate neutrality and climate resilience. He also indicated his vision for collaboration between the SDSN Global Climate Hub and CLIMPACT Initiative of Greece.
Konstantinos Aravossis, Secretary General for Forestry, Ministry of Environment and Energy, enthusiastically supported the Hub and said that the Ministry of Environment endorses the systemic and multidisciplinary approach that Prof. Koundouri will use, which is consistent with the approach of the Ministry.
Prof. Dimitris Bourantonis, Rector of Athens University of Economic and Business and Prof. Ioannis Emiris, President and General Director ATHENA Research Center, respectively expressed their great enthusiasm and honor that the Athens University of Economics and Business and the ATHENA Research Center will host the SDSN Global Climate Hub.
Watch the full video of the launch event
(00:25:50 – 02:01:46)