Global sustainability

The year 2021 was a pivotal moment for science and policy on issues relating to climate change and biodiversity.


As countries around the world sought to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a window of opportunity to ‘build back better’ and transform to more sustainable, more equitable and more resilient societies and economies.

In this section:

The Global Commission on Science Missions for Sustainability

Meeting the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and securing a just and sustainable future will depend on a massive mobilization of sustainability science globally.

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“Bouncing Forward Sustainably: Pathways to a post-COVID world”

The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)-ISC Consultative Science Platform mobilized the science communities of both the IIASA and the ISC to design sustainability pathways for the COVID-19 recovery period and beyond. 

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Leading Integrated Research for Agenda 2030 in Africa (LIRA2030)

The final year of the LIRA 2030 programme was characterized by close consultation with funded projects to ensure that they finalized and reported on their activities, and to capture key outputs and outcomes.

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An exhibition organized by the Gold Matters project

Transformations to Sustainability

The Transformations to Sustainability programme’s twelve transdisciplinary research projects regrouped and regained momentum in 2021.

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COP26 was held in Glasgow, Scotland

Transform 21

As the eyes of the world looked towards Glasgow and the UN Climate Change Conference COP26, the ISC launched the Transform 21 portal in partnership with the incoming UK presidency of COP26.

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Hazards Definition and Classification

The ISC and United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) published a report compiling definitions for over 300 hazards grouped around 8 hazard types (meteorological and hydrological, extraterrestrial, geohazards, environmental, chemical, biological, technological and societal hazards).

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COVID-19 Outcome Scenarios

A new project, launched in 2021, to develop and present a range of mid- and long-term scenarios to support understanding of the options for achieving an optimistic and fair end to the pandemic.

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Affiliated bodies

Highlights from WCRP; UHWB; SCOR; SCAR; IRDR; Future Earth; GRIP; GCOS; GOOS in 2021.

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