UN Environment Announces Co-chairs for Sixth Edition of Landmark State of World Environment Report (GEO-6)

Nairobi, 12 October 2016 - Two of the world’s most celebrated scientists, Professor Joyeeta Gupta and Professor Paul Ekins, have been nominated to lead the production of the sixth edition of the ‘Global Environment Outlook’ (GEO-6), the most comprehensive assessment of the state of the world's environment.

The assessment, produced by UN Environment, provides policy makers with trends for air, climate, water, land and biodiversity and an outlook for the future.  It demonstrates the interactions between social, economic and environmental drivers of environmental degradation and analyses different policy options for a more sustainable world in the near to longer term.

Joyeeta Gupta is Professor of Environment and Development at the University of Amsterdam. She will lead the research in the areas of environmental sustainability and governance.  

Paul Ekins is Professor of Energy and Environment Policy at University College, London. He will provide leadership and guidance in the areas of sustainable resource use, energy and environmental policy.

“I am pleased to announce that two of the world’s most eminent scientists, Professor Gupta and Professor Ekins, have agreed to lead the production of the world’s most comprehensive environmental assessment,” said UN Environment Chief Scientist, Jacqueline McGlade.

“Working with hundreds of leading scientists from around the world, the co-chairs will bring focus and scientific excellence to the process, which will outline pathways for achieving the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals. I would like to welcome the co-chairs to the GEO 6 team, wishing them and their teams the best of luck,” she added.

“It is a huge privilege and responsibility to be invited to co-chair the production of GEO-6. In this report I will seek to highlight the opportunities for economic growth and increased human welfare that will arise from addressing today’s local and global environmental challenges,” said Professor Ekins.

“I hope that this report will assemble and compellingly present the evidence that people at all stages of development stand to gain enormously from the implementation of economically efficient environmental policies, and that these policies will be essential in enabling the global community to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which it endorsed in 2015,” he added.

“It is both an exciting and daunting challenge to create the enabling environment for global scholars to come together and work collaboratively to understand, analyse and suggest ways and means to mitigate or adapt to our environmental and resource problems,” said Professor Gupta.

“Maintaining the ecosystem services of nature while promoting human wellbeing in a globalizing world with multi-level drivers will require scholarship from all the different disciplines and an ability to bring these together in a coherent manner.” 

A progress report on GEO-6 will be provided to the 3rd session of the United Nations Environment Assembly in December 2017, where governments will consider policy questions they would like GEO-6 to answer to enable them to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.