Climate Action and Human Wellbeing at a Crossroads: Historical Transformation or Backlash?

Event Type
Conference back to back with COP 23

Bonn, 04.11.2017 until 05.11.2017

Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), IIASA - International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

The historical moment

In 2015 two historical agreements on how to fight poverty and inequality, create jobs and make the global economy fit for the 21st century, within planetary boundaries, have been achieved: The Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The message is clear: fighting poverty, inequality, and the ecological crisis need to go hand in hand. Our existing growth patterns cannot continue, because they will trigger dangerous tipping points in the Earth system. Two years after signing the global agreements, tremendous efforts by many stakeholders around the world have demonstrated that the transformation towards sustainability is possible. At the same time, the sustainability transformation is under serious threat, as global cooperation is challenged by nationalism, populism, and post-factual thinking. Human wellbeing, peace, security, and the stability of the Earth system are at a crossroads.

The time is now

We have two choices – will we let this unique opportunity for a global transformation towards sustainability slip through our hands or will we take action towards a future that coincides with the planetary boundaries? In November 2017, the world will look to Bonn at COP23, where the details for implementing the Paris Agreement will be negotiated. Back to back with COP23, the conference “Climate Action and Human Wellbeing at a Crossroads: Historical Transformation or Backlash?” will send a strong signal for decisive steps towards the accelerated implementation of climate and sustainability commitments. In this spirit, it will bring together influential high-level actors from academia, civil society, business, international organizations, national and subnational governments, as well as media and the arts from around the globe to:

  • call for accelerating action to jointly implement the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement;
  • demonstrate that the transformation is urgently needed and possible;
  • build broad transnational alliances for change;
  • discuss how to deal with nationalist and authoritarian counter-transformations that could undermine peace, stability, and human wellbeing.


Together we can achieve the transformation to sustainability!

Event information

04.11.2017 until 05.11.2017


- Participation is by invitation only -


The World in 2050