Pierre Boileau (Head, Global Environment Outlook) was invited to present to the 10th annual Earth System Governance conference in Oaxaca, Mexico. The conference was co-hosted by the National Autonomous University of Mexico and a number of other co-sponsors. More than 300 academic researchers in environmental policy gathered to present papers and discuss difficult issues related to the environmental transformation that must happen over the next 30 years. The theme of the conference was ‘Urgent Transformations and Earth System Governance: Toward Sustainability and Justice’. Many of the sessions dealt with ensuring a just transition during the anticipated transformation that must happen in the near future.
The opening keynote speech, given by Peter Dauvergne from University of British Columbia, highlighted that technological changes, like those posed by artificial intelligence, are not likely to be as beneficial for the environment as anticipated and that big business may not be fully aware of the scale of the environmental challenge that is needed, and will still seek to profit from the transformation, so is not likely to be a trustworthy partner.
A presentation on the main findings of GEO-6 was presented together with with the co-chair of GEO, Prof. Joyeeta Gupta, on the morning of day-3 of the meeting. The session covered the main findings of the sixth Global Environment Outlook and the governance and equity challenges that were observed during the process. The links between environmental and social issues was also highlighted.