Past Event

The Global Pact for the Environment: Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives on the Future of International Environmental Governance

September 26, 2018
8:30 AM - 12:00 PM
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Faculty House, Columbia University, New York

The program for the event is available here.

See participant biographies here.

A recap of the event is available here.

On the morning of September 26, 2018, the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), with support from Iberdrola and under the guidance of Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the SDGs, and Laurent Fabius, President of the Constitutional Council of the French Republic, hosted a conference to discuss the Global Pact for the Environment. The Global Pact for the Environment aims to unify international environmental governance and codify a human right to the environment in international law.

In early May the UNGA voted to create a working group to identify and assess gaps in international environmental governance, kicking off formal diplomatic work for a Global Pact for the Environment. This follows a year of exciting developments on the Pact, including the initial drafting of a pact “blueprint” in Paris, President Macron’s Summit to introduce the Pact at the UN in September, and a program of conferences and consultations around the world.

This conference built upon this work, including last September’s conference at Columbia, bringing together a group of leading experts to discuss the Global Pact from legal, diplomatic, economic, ethical, and business perspectives. Participants included:

  • Yann Aguila, Chair, Environmental Law Commission, le Club des Juristes
  • Jamil Ahmad, Director, UN Environment Programme New York Office
  • Inger Andersen, Director General, International Union for Conservation of Nature
  • François De Rugy, Minister for an Ecological and Inclusive Transition
  • John Denton, Secretary General, International Chamber of Commerce
  • Miroslav Lajčák, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Slovakia; Former President of the UN General Assembly (72nd session)
  • Jeffrey Sachs, Director, Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University
  • Carlos Salle, Director, Energy Policies and Climate Change, Iberdrola
  • Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences 

The conference was followed by a conference on the status of and prospects for climate change litigation to promote climate justice and deep decarbonization, from 1:00pm – 6:00 pm in the same room.