11 January 2013

Systems Science for Policy Support

At an event hosted by the Sustainability Science Centre at the University of Copenhagen, Prof Dr Pavel Kabat argued that only integrated and interdisciplinary research can adequately underpin policies and solutions to resolve major sustainability challenges.. 

Prof. Dr. Pavel Kabat © IIASA

Prof. Dr. Pavel Kabat © IIASA

In a  in Copenhagen Sustainability Lecture on 11 January, Prof. Dr. Kabat argued that narrowly focused, single-disciplinary science alone cannot adequately underpin policies and solutions to resolve major sustainability challenges. We must rap­idly refocus intellectual and economic investments toward multiscale, integrated, interdisciplinary ap­proaches that consider social, economic, and environ­mental aspects, that look across and between borders and sectors, and that identify feedbacks or the coben­efits of a policy or management decision, before it is made.

One example of this “systems” approach is the Global Energy Assessment (GEA), a multiyear, multidiscipli­nary study (coordinated by IIASA). The GEA links en­ergy to climate, air quality, human health and mortal­ity, economic growth, urbanization, water, land use, and other factors. The GEA scenarios find that energy access for all (by 2050) is possible with cobenefits of limiting warming to 2°C, improving air quality and hu­man health, and stimulating economic growth within a green economy framework.

Realizing the sustainability goals of Rio+20 will require investment in integrated analyses to fully understand the Earth system (human and natural). This must be enabled by substantial growth in public-private part­nerships that stimulate and fund collaboration be­tween social and natural scientists and that engage key stakeholders in the user community at all stages of the research cycle—from inception to implementation.

How to attend the lecture

11 January 2013
University of Copenhagen
Auditorium A3-24.11
Department of Geoscience and
Natural Resource Management
Rolighedsvej 23
1958 Frederiksberg C

Sign up for free before January 10th at 15.00
Further information:
Annette Jeholm, , phone: +45 35331019

About the Copenhagen Sustainability Lectures

Copenhagen Sustainability Lectures aims to create attention and visibility of the challenges of global sustainability. Danish and foreign speakers visit University of Copenhagen to focus on a broad array of topics concerned with sustainability, pass on their experiences, and give their opinions on how to approach the challenges we are facing now and in the future.

Print this page

Last edited: 15 January 2013


Sanja Drinkovic

Officer for IIASA Council

Council and External Relations

Advisory Committees and NMO Relations


T +43(0) 2236 807 589

Further Information

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313