“Sustainable Development Pathway towards 2030 and Beyond” Presented by Jeffrey D. Sachs, the 2022 Tang Prize Master, at NCKU on Sept. 26
Written by Sarah Wu. Image credit to News Center.
Professor Jeffrey Sachs delivered a keynote speech on The Tang Prize Master’s Forum in Sustainable Development.
The Tang Prize Master’s Forum in Sustainable Development was staged at NCKU on Sept. 26, with a keynote speech by Professor Jeffrey Sachs, the 2022 Tang Prize laureate in Sustainable Development, about how Taiwan and the rest of the world can realize net zero carbon emissions by 2050 amid various challenges including the pandemic and constant geopolitical conflicts.
The moderator of the Tang Prize Master’s Forum in Sustainable Development, Dr. Chao-Han Liu (3rd from right) and the panelists.
Professional Sachs’ presentation was paneled by NCKU President Huey-Jen Su, Dr. Tain-Jy Chen, Dean of Taipei School of Economics and Political Science, Dr. Chi-Yuan Liang, chair professor at National Central University, and Dr. Chao-Han Liu, the moderator of this forum and a Academician of Academia Sinica.
Professor Sachs outlined the enormously profound challenges for sustainable development, at an unprecedented scope and a global scale, to our future generations and the whole world. “We need to hurry, understand our circumstances, change our mindsets and adjust our institutions accordingly with these unprecedented challenges, for which a degree of global collaboration and mutual understanding are required.”
Students from National Tainan Girls' Senior High School listened carfully and took notes from the keynote speech.
“It is our responsibility, and our capacity to shape the future we want, with four pillars,” presented Professor Sachs. “First, to end of poverty in all parts of the world. Second, to reduce the inequality within and between nations, we need to maintain the economic rights for all: health, education, social protection, nutrition, leisure, and environmental security. Third, to achieve the environmental sustainability, and forth: to make global peace with UN multilateralism, nuclear disarmament, and peace.”
In contrast, Professor Sachs also stressed, “there’s also a very clear future that we must avoid. we must avoid the poverty in the midst of plenty. We must avoid the societies divided by ethnicity, education, and digital access. We must avoid the environmental tipping points, including runaway climate change, biodiversity collapse and the mega-pollution. Finally, we must avoid the global conflicts of great power rivalry and alliance politics which would lead to war.”
Professor Sachs emphasized the six transformative investment areas.
“Building the future means investing in the future,” emphasized Professor Sachs with six transformative investment areas to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Education is the central investment for sustainable development. “Taiwan is the living example of a society of excellence in education t opropels the entire society to great prosperity and to global leadership in cutting-edge technology,” commented Professor Sachs.
Health systems and services for all – its significance is reminded by the coveted global pandemic.
Clean and renewable energy and circular economy – it’s critical to provides the energy for a modern economy which does not threaten the human environment. It also means a core shifting from fossil fuel-based energy which leads to climate change and releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, to the Net Zero energy sources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, hydropower and nuclear, provided it can be deployed safely.
Sustainable diets and land use – farm sector is the biggest single sector that contributes to greenhouse and also the biggest driver of change of the earth’s land use. Changes in the farm practices and the diets are required to render our farm system sustainable.
Cities to be digital, all-electric and service-based – currently 55 percent of the world’s population lives in the cities, and it will be 70 percent by 2050. The cities need to be green, clean, healthful, and productive. The cities will become all electric with the zero carbon power system of the future.
Digital inclusion for all, including services, governance, and privacy – we need to provide the digital services to improve our lives, to make access to healthcare and education, finance, and other crucial area, and to effectively improve public governance.
Students from National Tainan First Senior High School were invited to participate in the forum in NCKU.
Professor Sachs then declared the need to develop “the new governance structures for sustainable development,” which include:
setting long-term goals to achieve decarbonatization by mid-century and SDG by 2030;
designing technology pathways and supportive industrial policies;
developing a financing programming to cover the heavy costs in the above-mentioned six core investment areas;
aligning corporate incentives with broad social direction of sustainable development;
establishing the regional integration and collaboration to achieve zero carbon energy system, sustainable marine and terrestrial environments, sustainable farm practices, and secure global supply chains;
finally, enchancing Geopolitical cooperation, ethics of global interdependence and make peace for our very survival.
To develop the new government structures, the multi-stakeholder governance was discussed in detail. “The government need to take on the multiple roles in the SDGs,” defined Professor Sachs. “Those include planning and industrial policy, public investments in roads and powers, public services in health and education, public financing in budget, borrowings and state-owned enterprises (SOEs), international financing for official development assistance (ODA), regulation in the sectors of energy, health and environment, legal framework for Intellectual Properties and liability, public-private partnerships, research and development and public deliberation.”
“Business also should take on the multiple roles for production of sustainable goods and services, stakeholder governance, co-responsibility of global supply chains and public-private partnership. Finally, a civil society should take on the multiple roles for citizenship, including Deliberation, Voting, Holding government accountable, for responsible consumption, for schools and universities on education, training, and R&D, for social business and civil activism.”
To be part of this multi-stakeholder governance, universities now have an opportunity to play a unique leadership role. “The United Nations Sustainable Development Solution Network enables us to work with more than 1,700 universities and think tanks, to promote sustainable development globally.”
“Energy sector is a good example for the regional integration, we need to develop a comprehensive and sound framework with expanding the regional cooperation and having dialogues with our counterparts.” Professor Sachs introduced the model of energy interconnections for Northeast Asia designed by the Asian Development Bank, to demonstrate how a zero-carbon energy system would require regional cooperation and connectivity. The model also proposes an opportunity for Monolia to export renewable energy to East Asia and the Pacific region, as a low-cost zero carbon powerhouse.
“Global cooperation is absolutely essential,” concluded Professor Sachs. “We are in the midst of a historic change of global economic order. The rebalancing of western industrialization since the 19 century and the restoring of Asia with a bigger share of global economic output and purchasing teams in the mid 20 century has led to a profound geopolitical tension, which should be overcome, to achieve the global sustainable development.”
NCKU President Huey-Jen Su mentioned the public health issue and the cooperation between NCKU and the Tang Prize.
At the wrap-up of the forum, President Su said, “as a university leader in sustainable development, we commit to facilitate the whole process and engage multiple stakeholders. We welcome hundreds of high school students who attend the forum today, who will take actions tomorrow.” President Su also shared a normative framework how to transform the SDGs into relevant strategic business models for a feasible implementation plan. President Su also presented NCKU researches on difference of gender and age in public health issue and the health burden as an important economic stress. “It’s important that every individual and how they are positioned in the whole system, which should be fairly and equally addressed in a scientific way.”
“NCKU has proudly formed a collaborative connection with Tang Prize Foundation in the past few years,” said President Su. “We organized the Gro Brundtland Week for young female scientists in sustainable development between 2016 and 2018, as well as the 2020 Master’s Forum in Biopharmaceutical science, and the 2022 Master’s forum in sustainable development today. We need to believe there is a common good across the world, regardless of the cultures, religions, and politics. We need to take on the responsibility for the next generation, in order to secure, prepare and engage in working for a better future, together.”
Professor Jeffrey Sachs brought many concrete methods about how to reach the sustainable future toward 2030 and beyond along with the panelists.
- The forum live at YouTube
- Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs：Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, University Professor at Columbia University, is Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University and President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. He has served as adviser to three UN Secretaries-General, and currently serves as an SDG Advocate under Secretary-General António Guterres. Dr. Sachs is widely recognized for bold and effective strategies to address complex challenges including debt crises, hyperinflations, the transition from central planning to market economies, the control of AIDS, malaria, and other diseases, the escape from extreme poverty, and the battle against human-induced climate change.
- Tang Prize Foundation and 2022 Tang Prize Masters’ Forum
- Six Transformations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by Dr. Sachs
- Sustainable Development Solution Network, a global initiative for the United Nations
Provider: News Center