The SDSN Global Climate Hub was launched by Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and Maria Cortes-Puch, Vice President of SDSN. The Chair of the SDSN Global Climate Hub will be Prof. Phoebe Koundouri, Professor at Athens University of Economics and Business and Denmark Technical University, as well as Director of the Sustainable Development Unit at ATHENA Information Technologies RC and Co-Chair of SDSN Europe. Prof. Yannis Ioannidis, Prof. Christos S. Zerefos and Prof. Andreas Papandreou, will support the Hub as Co-Founders.
The Hosts of the Global Climate Hub are Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB) and the Athena Research & Innovation Center in Information Communication & Knowledge Technologies both of which belong to the Alliance of Excellence for Research and Innovation on Αephoria (AE4RIA), which Professor Koundouri directs.
Professor Koundouri introduced the mission of the Hub:
The launch event included presentations on the mission and approach of the SDSN Global Climate Hub with speeches by Ministers and officials from the Greek government. In particular:
Christos Stylianidis, Minister for the Climate Crisis, said the SDSN Global Climate Hub in Athens highlights the role of Greece in the global effort and will give the Greek scientific community and policy making institutions a key purpose: to examine, analyze and propose specific actions. Find out more here.
Christos Dimas, Deputy Minister for Research and Technology, highlighted that Greece can emerge as the central research and innovation hub in the Balkans and South-Eastern Europe, making use of its talented human resources. Many of these innovations are focused on the transition to climate neutrality and climate resilience. He also indicated his vision for collaboration between the SDSN Global Climate Hub and CLIMPACT Initiative of Greece.
Konstantinos Aravossis, Secretary General for Forestry, Ministry of Environment and Energy, enthusiastically supported the Hub and said that his Ministry endorses the systemic and multidisciplinary approach that Prof. Koundouri will use, which is consistent with the approach of the Ministry.
Prof. Dimitris Bourantonis, Rector of Athens University of Economic and Business and Prof. Ioannis Emiris, President and General Director ATHENA Research Center, respectively expressed their great enthusiasm and honor that the Athens University of Economics and Business and the ATHENA Research Center will host the SDSN Global Climate Hub.
Welcome speeches were also given by the sponsors, Panos Laskaridis, President of the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation and Eleni Andreadis, ESG Executive Director of the Sani/Ikos Group.