The participants of the St James’s Palace Nobel Laureate Symposium agreed on a Memorandum, which urges “governments at all levels, as well as the scientific community, to join with business and civil society to seize hold of this historic opportunity to transform our carbon-intensive economies into sustainable and equitable systems.”
(IDW) For three days more than twenty Nobel Laureates have debated the dimensions of climate change and the current global sustainability crisis with some of the world’s leading climate scientists, politicians and business leaders. The participants also discussed strategies to meet these challenges. With the symposium’s patron, The Prince of Wales, present, the St James’s Palace Memorandum was signed in London today. The US secretary of energy and Nobel Laureate Steven Chu was one of the keynote speakers at the symposium.
“After the cold war, mutually insured disarmament was the logic of good global governance. Facing the global climate challenge, mutually insured emissions reductions should become the logic”, says Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), who initiated the Global Sustainability Symposia series. As stated in the Memorandum, in a spirit of trust, “every country must act on the firm assumption that all others will also act”.
The participants of the symposium call for a global deal on climate change “that matches the scale and urgency of the human, ecological and economic crises facing the world today”. Climate impacts such as droughts, sea level rise and flooding could lead to mass migration and conflict. “Political leaders could not possibly ask for a more robust, evidence-based call for action,” the signatories state in the Memorandum. They identified as key requirements an effective and just global agreement on climate change, low-carbon energy infrastructure and tropical forest protection, conservation and restoration.
I am particularly encouraged by the Symposium’s call for a Low carbon Infrstructure to decarbonise our society. This is not a passive solution , but rather a solution that activley REMOVES carbon…at last!.
In a leading article in the Times, Chu says
‘Under Mr. Obama, America is embracing a leadership role in addressing the world’s energy and climate change problems. At home, we are committed to reducing our carbon emissions by more than 80 per cent by 2050, and a key committee in the US Congress passed a Bill last week to do just that. Abroad, the United States has pledged’
The good news this time is that the US secretary of Energy was on the inside of the circle and therefore at the very heart of the debate. I am looking forward to seeing some real action.
29th May 2009
Symposium Statement (pdf)