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Sustainable Development and Climate Transition

About this event

25 November 2020 from 18:15 until 21:30

On the occasion of the inauguration of the Sciences Po's >European Chair for Sustainable Development and Climate Transition, we are pleased to present a two-session event.


Europe’s Role in the World to Advance Climate Neutrality

Wednesday 25 November 2020 | 5:15 pm to 6:45 pm CET

Watch the replay of the panel discussion

The European Green Deal aims to make the continent climate neutral by 2050. To be impactful, new forms of citizen, labor and business engagements are required to consolidate and advance hard-won social and environmental gains not only in Europe but in other countries and regions as well. The panel will discuss ideas on Europe’s role in advancing a socially inclusive and carbon neutral economic development across the world.  

Chair: Enrico Letta, Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs

Opening: Teresa Ribera, Minister for Ecological Transition of Spain

A panel discussion with:

  • Naoko Ishii, Professor, University of Tokyo; former CEO of the Global Environment Facility
  • Carlos Lopes, Professor, Cape Town University; African Union High Representative for Partnerships with Europe
  • Sunita Narain, Director-General, Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi
  • Jeffrey Sachs, University Professor, Columbia University
  • Jacob Werksman, Principal Advisor on EU Climate Policy, European Commission


Territorial Inclusion for a Stronger Resilient Europe

Wednesday 25 November 2020 | 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm CET

Watch the replay of the panel discussion

Europe is at the forefront globally on social, economic and environmental rights. However, the European project is itself now under scrutiny with societies animated by widening income and wealth inequality, political and social polarization, and lasting human and economic damage from COVID-19 pandemic. The panel will discuss ideas to forge a stronger and more resilient Europe through the lens of territorial inclusion. 

Chair: Yann Algan, Dean of the School of Public Affairs, Sciences Po

Opening: Elisa Ferreira, European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms

A panel discussion with:

  • Charlotte Halpern, Researcher, Center for European Studies and Comparative Politics, Sciences Po
  • Joaquim Oliveira Martins, Deputy Director at the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities
  • Laurence Tubiana, CEO of the European Climate Foundation, Chair of the Board of Governors at the French Development Agency (AFD)


About the Chair

Co-hosted by the School of Public Affairs and the Paris School of International Affairs, the European Chair for Sustainable Development and Climate Transition is resolutely transdisciplinary, seeking to develop integrative thinking to help resolve complex challenges of sustainable development and climate transition. The Chair is headed by Shiv Someshwar, Professor at Sciences Po. 


About the guest speakers on Session 1


Dr. Naoko Ishii has joined University of Tokyo on August 1st 2020 as professor, executive vice president, and inaugurating Director for Center for Global Commons, whose mission is to catalyze systems change so that human can achieve sustainable development within planetary boundaries. The Center aims at playing a much more active role in mobilizing movements of multi-stakeholders towards a shared goal of nurturing stewardship of Global Commons. 

Prior to joining the university, she served the GEF (Global Environment Facility) as CEO and Chairperson from 2012 to 2020. She formed GEF’s first mid-term strategy, GEF 2020, with strong focus on transformation of key economic systems. 

She entered Ministry of Finance, Japan, in 1981 and served as Deputy Vice Minister of Finance, Japan for 2010-2012. She also worked at the IMF and the World Bank. 

She obtained BA in economics and Ph. D in international studies, both from the University of Tokyo.


Honorary Professor at Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance, Faculty of Commerce, University of Cape Town. Visiting Professor at Sciences Po, Paris, and Associate Fellow at Chatham House, London. 2017 Fellow at Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford.

Has been associated with a number of high level boards, including the Global Commission for Economy and Climate, Global Commission for the Future of Work, Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation, Kofi Annan Foundation. Is a current member of the boards of Jakaya Kikwete Foundation, Hailemariam and Roman Foundation, the Graça Machel Trust, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, the Global Advisory Board of the African Leadership Institute, Waterloo University International Advisory Board, Blockchain Charity Foundation, African Center for Cities Advisory Board, as well as Honorary Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences and Lifetime Member of the Lisbon Academy of Sciences.

Honorary Doctorate Degrees from Cândido Mendes University, Brazil, Hawassa University, Ethiopia and the Polytechnic University of Mozambique.

Past chair of the Lisbon University Institute (2009 to 2017). Past head of several institutions at the United Nations, including the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, UN System Staff College and UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary, Economic Commission for Africa, (2012-2016).

Has occupied prominent positions such as UN Assistant Secretary-General and Political Director for Secretary-General Kofi Annan and he is currently the African Union High Representative for Partnerships with Europe and a member of the African Union Reform Team led by President Paul Kagame.

Member of the Global Advisory Board of the African Leadership Institute, Honorary Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences, Lifetime Member of the Lisbon Academy of Sciences, Honorary Doctorate from Candido Mendos University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Hawassa University.


Sunita Narain has been with the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) since 1982. She is currently the director general of the Centre and the treasurer of the Society for Environmental Communications and editor of the fortnightly magazine, Down To Earth.

She is a writer and environmentalist, who uses knowledge for change. In 2005 she was awarded the Padma Shri by the Indian government. She has also received the World Water Prize for work on rainwater harvesting and for its policy influence in building paradigms for community based water management. In 2005, she also chaired the Tiger Task Force at the direction of the Prime Minister, to evolve an action plan for conservation in the country after the loss of tigers in Sariska. She advocated solutions to build a coexistence agenda with local communities so that benefits of conservation could be shared and the future secured. Narain was a member of the Prime Minister's Council for Climate Change as well as the National Ganga River Basin Authority.

Jeffrey D. Sachs is a University Professor and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, where he directed the Earth Institute from 2002 until 2016. He is also Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and a commissioner of the UN Broadband Commission for Development. He has been advisor to three United Nations Secretaries-General, and currently serves as an SDG Advocate under Secretary General António Guterres. He spent over twenty years as a professor at Harvard University, where he received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees. He has authored numerous bestseller books. His most recent book is The Ages of Globalization: Geography, Technology, and Institutions (2020). Sachs was twice named as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders and was ranked by The Economist among the top three most influential living economists. 

Jacob Werksman has, since 2012, served as Principal Adviser to Directorate General for Climate Action in the European Commission, where his work focuses on the international aspects of European climate policy.  His responsibilities include leading aspects of the European Union negotiations under the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and advising the Commission with regard to international partnerships to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including under the Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depleting Substances and the International Civil Aviation Organization.  He supports the Commission Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal and the European External Action Service in strengthening bilateral relationships between the EU and major economies, including the United States, China and India and other international partners.

Werksman is an international lawyer, specializing in international environmental law and international economic law.  He has provided legal and policy advice to developed and developing country governments, NGOs and international institutions in the context of the multilateral negotiations on climate change, biosafety and trade.  He has taught and published widely on the international legal dimensions of climate policy, including on the design of compliance mechanisms, climate finance and on the relationship between carbon markets and international trade and investment agreements.  

Prior to joining the Commission, he held posts at the World Resources Institute, the Rockefeller Foundation, United Nations Development Programme, and the Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development (FIELD) in London. He has lectured in international environmental and economic law at the masters level at the New York University Law School, Georgetown University Law Center, and at the School of Oriental and African Studies and University College at the University of London.  Werksman holds degrees from Columbia University (A.B.), the University of Michigan (J.D.) and the University of London (LL M.).


About the guest speakers on Session 2


Elisa Ferreira is the European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms (1 December 2019 onwards).

Before that, she was Vice-Governor of the Bank of Portugal (‘Banco de Portugal’). She joined the bank in June 2016, becoming Vice-Governor in September 2017. During her tenure, she was Portugal’s representative in the Supervisory Board of the Single Supervisory Mechanism. 

Between 2004 and 2016 she was a Member of the European Parliament. Throughout her mandate, she was the coordinator for the Group of Socialists and Democrats in the EP’s Economic and Monetary (ECON) Committee, and was rapporteur, co-rapporteur or shadow rapporteur of many key legislative files, including the Six-Pack and Two-Pack, the BRRD or the Regulation creating the Single Resolution Mechanism.

She was a member of the Portuguese National Parliament between 2002 and 2004. Elisa Ferreira was Portugal’s Minister for Planning (responsible for the Portuguese EU Multiannual Framework for regional policy) between 1999 and 2002. She was Portugal’s Minister for the Environment from 1995 to 1999. Between 1992 and 1994 she was Executive Vice-President of the Porto Industrial Association. Before that, she worked at Portugal’s Northern Region Coordination Commission, a central government regional development institution of which she was the Vice-President from 1988 until 1992; in parallel, she was also a member of the Board of the Instituto Nacional de Estatística (Statistics Portugal). 

Elisa Ferreira has a degree in Economics from the University of Porto, and a Master’s Degree (1981) and a PhD (1985) from the University of Reading, in the UK. She is a professor at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Porto (on leave of absence).


Charlotte Halpern holds a PhD in political science and is Tenured researcher at Sciences Po, Centre for European studies and comparative politics, in Paris. Her published works examine processes of policy change and the relationship between social mobilizations and dynamics of state restructuring. Her current research focuses sustainable urban transitions in European and South American cities, and on energy transitions in France. Recent publications include special issues and articles in several journals (Comparative European Politics; West European Politics; Politique européenne; Espacestemps.net) and two edited volumes Policy analysis in France (Policy press, 2018 co-ed. with P. Hassenteufel and P. Zittoun) and Villes sobres (Presses de Sciences Po, 2018). She is the scientific director of the Sciences Po Executive master programme on Territorial Governance and Urban Planning. She teaches comparative public policy analysis, comparative urban governance and environmental policies at Sciences Po and AgroParisTech. She is a member of the board of the Centre for Earth politics (Sciences Po & Université de Paris), she is the director of the research group on environmental policies at the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Evaluation of Public Policy (LIEPP).


Joaquim Oliveira Martins is currently Deputy-Director of the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities focusing on Entrepreneurship & SMEs policies; Regional, Rural and Urban policies; and Tourism. He was previously Head of the OECD Regional Development Policy Division and supervised projects on regional and urban economics, governance, regional statistics and well-being. He was Head of the OECD Structural Economic Statistics Division, where he focused on Trade & Globalisation studies, Productivity measurement and Business statistics. He is author of many academic articles and OECD publications. When Senior Economist at the OECD Economics Department, he coordinated and authored reports on Policy Response to the Threat of Global Warming, Competition, Regulation and Performance, Ageing & Growth, Investment in Tertiary Education, and Public Health Expenditure Projections. He was also Head of Desk for Emerging markets, in charge of the first OECD Economic Surveys of Brazil, Chile and several transition countries. Before the OECD, he was Research Fellow at the Centre d’Etudes Prospectives et d’Informations Internationales (CEPII, Paris). He holds a MSc in Econometrics and a PhD in Economics from the University of Paris-I, Panthéon-Sorbonne, and is currently Associate Professor at the University of Paris-Dauphine PSL and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, UK (FAcSS).


Laurence Tubiana is CEO of the European Climate Foundation (ECF). In addition, she is the Chair of the Board of Directors at the French Development Agency (AFD). Before joining the ECF, Laurence was France’s Climate Change Ambassador and Special Representative for COP21, and as such a key architect of the landmark Paris Agreement. Following COP21, she was appointed High Level Champion for Climate Action by the UN.

Laurence brings decades of expertise and experience in climate change, energy, agriculture and sustainable development, working across government, think tanks, NGOs and academia. She started her career as a Research Director for the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA). In the 80’s and early 90’s she founded and then led Solagral, an NGO working on food security and the global environment. She founded in 2002 and directed until 2014 the Paris-based Institute of Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI). From 1997 to 2002, she served as Senior Adviser on the Environment to the French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin. From 2009 to 2010, she created and then led the newly established Directorate for Global Public Goods at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE). In 2013, she chaired the French National Debate on the Energy Transition. In 2018, President Macron appointed her to France’s High Council on Climate Change.

Throughout the years, Laurence has held several academic positions, including as a Professor and Scientific Director for the International Development and Environmental Studies Master degrees at Sciences Po, Paris; and Professor of International Affairs at Columbia University, New York. She has been a member of numerous boards and scientific committees, including the Chinese Committee on the Environment and International Development (CCICED), and currently sits on advisory boards including TERI and Iberdrola.


Photo credit: Anton Balazh/Shutterstock

About this event

25 November 2020 from 18:15 until 21:30