Watch our Currents 2023 event from 11 January and read the perspectives by our researchers on topics to follow in the coming year.
Our work is structured around three impact areas: reduced climate risks, sustainable resource use and resilient ecosystems and improved health and well-being.
1. Reduced climate risks
Tackling climate change is critical, given the decadal timeframe available to limit warming to agreed targets. It will involve large-scale and rapid mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and decarbonizing our economies while safeguarding carbon sinks. Equally important, it involves adapting to climate impacts and managing loss and damage. Climate action is also necessary to reduce the risk of conflict and enhance human security.
Below are our priorities for delivering a safer climate for all.
Government plans for low-carbon pathways
Strengthened decision-making on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction
Innovation and upscaled investment for industrial transitions
Transitions from fossil energy that address inequality, poverty and politics
More effective international cooperation on climate change
2. Sustainable resource use and resilient ecosystems
Natural resources are being consumed at faster and more unsustainable rates, and the benefits derived from them, and from biodiversity and ecosystems, are distributed unequally, within and between countries.
Below are our priorities for supporting more sustainable resource use and resilient ecosystems through expertise in water management, biodiversity, bioeconomy, agriculture, natural resource governance, supply chain management and waste management.
Effective bioeconomy strategies in national and regional policy and planning
Water resource management that is ecosystem-based and holistic
Commodity sourcing strategies and standards that address deforestation and biodiversity
More productive, resilient and sustainable practices in the agricultural sector
Resource rights given greater priority in government and private-sector decision-making
3. Improved health and well-being
The connection between environmental change and health has long been established, with known links, for example, between air pollution and respiratory disease, and poor sanitation and waterborne disease. But newer research suggests much deeper and more complex impacts, including on maternal health and neuropsychiatric health. As global warming and change accelerates, impacts are expected to intensify or bring about new challenges. At the same time, the strong connections between health and other priorities in the 2030 Agenda offer opportunities for policy coherence.
Below are our priorities in which we focus on the links between environment and well-being, taking in mental health and stress, safety, life satisfaction and happiness. We are also expanding our attention to well-being in low and middle-income countries, including in rapidly growing cities.