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4th Nobel Laureates Symposium on Global Sustainability

22 – 25 April 2015, Hong Kong

“4C: Changing Climate, Changing Cities”

Program Outline as of 10 April, 2015


Wednesday, 22nd April, 2015

16:00 pm - 17:30 pm Public Program at Asia Society Hong Kong Center

>> Recorded webcast of this Program (01:41:00)

Download Core Program

Thursday, 23rd April 2015, DAY 1
The scientific basis


Opening Addresses

Session 1: Cities, Climate, and Civilization

The opening keynotes cover three fundamental issues: climate change, financing urban change, and the dynamics linking cities, climate and civilization.

Chair: Johan Rockström (Director, Stockholm Resilience Center)

>> Recorded webcast of this session (02:22:02)


Session 2: From Ancient to De-spatialized Hyper-Cities

This session sets the stage for a common understanding of the phenomenon city, of the changing conditions how cities functioned historically and might function in the future.

Chair: Helga Weisz (Co-Chair, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research)

>> Recorded webcast of this session (01:37:50)

Session 3: The Socioeconomics of City Change

How can the necessary economic and social changes in cities be brought about, and what will they cost?

Chair: James Mirrlees (1996 Recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics)

>> Recorded webcast of this session (01:54:32)

Jörn Brömmelhörster (Principal Economist, Asian Development Bank): Towards Low Carbon Cities: Economic Context, Requirements, and Policies

Friday, 24th April 2015, DAY 2
Problem analysis and potential solutions

Session 4: Anthropogenic Climate Change: Key Results from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report and Recent Findings

What do we know about climate change? The session presents core results from the IPCC AR5.

Chair: Gabriel Lau (AXA Professor of Geography and Resource Management & Director, Institute for the Environment, Energy and Sustainability, The Chinese University of Hong Kong)

>> Recorded webcast of this session (01:37:52)

Stefan Rahmstorf (Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research): The Physical Science Basis

Karen Seto (Associate Dean of Research, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies): Climate Change Mitigation 2014, an Urban Angle on IPCC's AR5


Session 5: Climate Challenges for Chinese Cities

Chair: Christine Loh (Under Secretary for the Environment, The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region)

>> Recorded webcast of this session (01:24:42)

Evan Au Yang (Executive Director, Transport International Holdings): Sustainable Mobility

Sophia Chan (Under Secretary for Food and Health, The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region): Public Health

He Kebin (Dean, School of Environment, Tshinghua University): Air Pollution

Jiang Kejun (Director, NDRC Energy Research Institute): Energy

Alexis Lau (Director, Atmospheric Research Center, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology): Flooding Risks

Session 6: The Policy Challenge

The political perspective: Leaders of global cities will present the specific sustainability challenges their cities are facing and discuss policy solutions.

Chair: Dale Medearis (Senior Environmental Planner, Northern Virginia Regional Commission)

>> Recorded webcast of this session (01:48:31)

Simon Corbell MLA (Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Environment, Australian Capital Territory Government): Canberra Region, Australia

Morten Kabell (Mayor of Technical and Environmental Affairs, Copenhagen): Copenhagen, Denmark

Bernd Tischler (Mayor of Bottrop): Innovation City Ruhr, Germany

Session 7: Visions for Places: First Steps by Cities Toward Meeting Climate Change and Sustainability Challenge


>> Recorded webcast of this session (01:25:10)

Roger Dennis (Founder, Sensing City): Smart Citizens, Sensing Cities

Mario Molina (1995 Recipient of the Nobel Prize for Cheminstry): Mexico City, Mexico (via videoconferencing)

James von Klemperer (President, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates PC): Planning New Cities and Adding to Existing Man-Made Environments - An Architect's View

Mary Ritter (International Ambassador & Former CEO, Climate-KIC): The European Initiative Climate-KIC

Session 8: Perspective Panel

Chair: Jessica Seddon (Director, Okapi Research & Sr. Fellow, IIT Madras Centre for Technology and Policy)

>> Recorded webcast of this session (01:26:38)

Benjamin Barber (Senior Research Scholar, Graduate Center, City University of New York)

Christiana Figueres (Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (via videomessage)

Christine Loh (Under Secretary for the Environment, The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region)

Aromar Revi (Director, Indian Institute for Human Settlements)



Closing Inaugural Public Program: Innovating for a Sustainable World: Securing  a Future for Humanity"

“A great innovation is not enough. It must be adopted and used widely to have major impact and that starts with general understanding.” - George Smoot, 2006 Recipient of Nobel Prize in Physics for his insights into the big bang that created the universe

Mankind is living beyond its means. According to the WWF, humans are using 50% more resources than nature can replenish. As such, individuals, businesses and policymakers must consider the impact on the planet of every decision they make – in short, thinking and acting sustainably. Finding or creating innovations to solve sustainability-related problems is crucial to this. Is innovation in and of itself enough to make significant changes to how we can live more sustainably? How can we encourage sustainable innovation from a technological, economic and societal perspective, to enable consumption and production in a sustainable way? How can entrepreneurship be utilized to imagine and actualize innovations to address sustainability-related problems? What are some of the new ideas that that could lead to radical shifts and changes in lifestyle? Join us for the closing public program of the 4th Nobel Laureates Symposium on Global Sustainability during which a distinguished group of experts will engage in a forward-looking discussion on some of the solutions that will ensure humanity can continue to support itself ecologically and economically.

Moderator: Charles Ng (Associate Director-General, Invest Hong Kong)

>> Recorded webcast of this session (01:48:15)


George Smoot (2006 Recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics)

Mary Ritter (International Ambassador & Former CEO, Climate-KIC)

Panel Discussion

Mary Ritter (International Ambassador & Former CEO Climate-KIC)

George Smoot (2006 Recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics)


More Information: “4C: Changing Climate, Changing Cities”