Dr. Pavel Kabat: Reconciling Economic Development and Environmental Sustainability
February 28, 2017 — "Single-disciplinary science alone cannot adequately underpin policies and solutions to resolve major sustainability challenges," according to Dr. Pavel Kabat, Director General and CEO of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), a JISEA Research Affiliate. Earlier this month, JISEA hosted Professor Kabat at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, where he spoke to a group of researchers and analysts about a systems approach to sustainability and IIASA's Global Energy Assessment (GEA). Released in 2012, the GEA links energy to climate, air quality, human health and mortality, economic growth, urbanization, water, land use, and other factors. The United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 7—Affordable and Clean Energy—uses the GEA as a primary scientific underpinning.
Professor Kabat is also full professor of Earth System Science at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, founding chair and director of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences and Arts Institute for Integrated Research on the Wadden Sea Region (the Wadden Academy), a member of the Leadership Council for the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and co-founder of the high-level Alpbach — Laxenburg Group. The latter brings global leaders from academia, governments, businesses, and civil society together to support and advocate for sustainable transitions and sustainable development. Trained as a mathematician and hydrologist, Professor Kabat's almost-30-year research career has covered earth system science and global change, with a specific focus on land-atmosphere interactions, climate hydrology, the water cycle, and water resources. He is an author and coauthor of over 300 refereed publications (including 9 books), a member of 3 international editorial boards, and (co)editor of numerous special issues of peer-reviewed international journals. He has also contributed as lead author and review editor to the assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.