Ambition and Action in the Critical Decade for Addressing Climate Change and Realizing Sustainable Development

Date: 16 February, 2022 (Wednesday)
Time: 5:30 pm to 6:35 pm IST | Click here for time in your location
Concept Note Video


The World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) is the annual flagship Track II initiative of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). Instituted in 2001 as Delhi Sustainable Development Summit, in 2021, the Summit series marked 20 years in its journey of making ‘sustainable development’ a globally shared goal. Over the years, the Summit series has brought together 52 Heads of State and Government, 13 Nobel Laureates, 78 Ministers, 1827 Business Leaders, 2418 Speakers, and 26091 Delegates.

Having a legacy of over two decades, WSDS is the only independently convened Summit, based in a developing country, that is organized at this scale for pioneering conversations on climate action and sustainable development. The platform strives to provide long-term solutions for the benefit of global communities by assembling the world’s most enlightened leaders and thinkers on a single platform.

This year, the World Sustainable Development Summit will be under the umbrella theme, “Towards a Resilient Planet: Ensuring a Sustainable and Equitable Future”. The Summit will have special features including ministerial sessions, youth plenary, women leadership plenary, CEO Forum and thematic tracks.

The Imperative of Leadership

The onslaught of extreme weather events around the world has brought to the forefront how human well-being and the health of our planet are inextricably linked. Just and equitable implementation of climate and environmental policies need to go hand in hand with broader sustainable development objectives. The present state of planetary health along with pandemic driven socioeconomic crises call for a revisit on questions related to global ambition and measures for sustainable development. The stage is set for global deliberations and the global community must be pushed to take ambitious and equitable measures on adaptation, climate finance, transparency, and loss & damage.

While revised nationally determined contributions (NDCs) pledges and net-zero commitments by a few countries give a glimmer of hope to realize the Paris goals. A higher level of ambition is needed from developed countries, which should move towards being net negative by 2050 and will need to achieve net zero much earlier. In addition, while some countries are making big progress in achieving Sustainable Development Goals, others are being left behind. Unless all countries come together to partner with each other, we can achieve neither the Paris goals nor the SDGs.

How can Countries Lead?

Leadership by countries can be multi-faceted. A country can demonstrate leadership by being a normative leader by exerting influence through ideas and values. A country can also demonstrate entrepreneurial leadership by shaping institutions that cater to global needs by recruiting constituents. A country can also demonstrate role model leadership by being an achiever in areas of common global goals. In this regard, the role of leadership in driving global action becomes crucial. By developing ambitious policies on climate action and sustainable development, a leader can forge a narrative that addresses the need for urgent action on a global level. Most importantly, leaders need to come together and work in a collective spirit.

About the Session

The inaugural session of the World Sustainable Development Summit 2022 seeks to bring together world leaders together on one platform, in order to inform and inspire each other and rest of the world on how to move ahead on the road to sustainable development. Through this session, leaders are expected to set the vision and policy directions in the present decade for enhanced ambition and accelerated actions.

The inaugural session will have addresses by heads of state and government. When these leaders from various spheres come together and reflect upon their experiences, they build their own representations and incorporate new information into their pre-existing knowledge, thus giving a new direction to future policies and actions. Thus, the inaugural session and overall, the Summit itself, seeks to reinforce commitment and action at all levels to enhance ambition and urgency, which will create a more sustainable and equitable world for present and future generations.

Key Guiding Questions

  • We are living in a critical decade an action is needed now apart from the long-term commitments such as net-zero. What is needed to drive political action further?
  • What are the constraints to scaling up of good practices and implementation in countries? How can these be overcome?
  • Can you share some experiences from your country on climate action and sustainable development?
  • What are your expectations from multilateralism in general and COP27 in particular?


The session will start with Welcome Remarks by the Chairman of the Governing Council of TERI. This will be followed by an Opening Address which will then be followed by Keynote Addresses. The next segment will be the Inaugural Address by the Chief Guest. This will be followed by the announcement of ‘Sustainable Development Leadership Award’ and the acceptance speech by the Awardee. Finally the session will conclude with a Vote of Thanks by Director General, TERI.

Session Speakers

Welcome Address
  • Mr Nitin Desai, Chairman, Governing Council, The Energy and Resources Institute
Opening Address
  • Shri Bhupender Yadav, Hon’ble Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change
Keynote Addresses
  • H.E. Dr Irfaan Ali, President of the Republic of Guyana
  • Ms Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations
Inaugural Address by Chief Guest
  • Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi
Announcement of Sustainable Development Leadership Award
  • Acceptance Speech by Awardee - Mr Michael Rubens Bloomberg, UN Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions, Founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies
Vote of Thanks
  • Dr Vibha Dhawan, Director General, The Energy and Resources Institute

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WSDS Secretariat

The Energy & Resources Institute
6C, Darbari Seth Block, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road
New Delhi - 110 003 India

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