Before the Flood
News | 17 October 2016
Earth League Chair Johan Rockström appears alongside
Leonardo DiCaprio in the documentary Before the Flood (2016).
The film sees Leonardo DiCaprio tour the world to see the impacts of climate change first-hand. Meeting global leaders, from Barack Obama, Pope Francis, to John Kerry,
he sees how our leaders are addressing climate change,
and explores what we need to do to tackle the challenge before us.
"If you don't believe in man-made climate change then you don't believe in gravity."
- Leonardo DiCaprio.
The movie is available here.
Professor Peter Schlosser Elected to the German National Academy of Sciences
25 May 2016
Earth League member and Director of research at the Earth Institute, Columbia Univeristy, was recently elected to the German National Academy of Sciences, the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina. His election was for his profound contributions towards understanding water movement in natural systems, particularly oceans and groundwater. Founded in 1652, Leopoldina is one of the oldest academies of science in the world. The independent organisation represents the German scientific community and conducts research, supports scientists, promotes scientific debate, and recognises researchers’ outstanding achievements. The academy brings together top scientists from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and around the world, and totals around 1,500 members.
Earth-Doc programme taking up speed
2 March 2016
In early March the Earth-Docs convened in the Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS) in Hamburg to develop their research agenda following two retreats in Potsdam (December, 2015) and Beijing (October, 2015). The Earth-Doc program is taking speed and each participant has a defined list of goals and an agenda of collaborative activities, showing the synergy provided by the sum of the participants and their professional backgrounds. The Earth-Docs will work on social stratification and societal agency; cities as hubs of socio-ecological dynamics in the earth system and the economics of their transformation; empirical challenges to understanding the great acceleration and social drivers of planetary dynamics; the design of a world-earth modelling; and its building and application to explore the safe and just space for humanity.
COP21: "A turning point"
News | 4 January 2016
Johan Rockström, Earth League Chair and Director of Stockholm Resilience Centre, says the Paris Agreement "sends the signal to the global economy that decarbonisation starts today. The Global Carbon Project’s carbon budget published during the conference gives the first sign that this is underway." Rockström, believes that many have now awoken to the fact that serious climate action is essential, and that the Agreement signals a turning point. "We are starting to see that sustainable solutions not only exist but they are also adaptable and deliverable on various levels in society as a whole." For sticking to 1.5°C, he argues that is essential that rich countries lead in action towards zero fossil fuel use by 2030.
The Earth Statement’s role in COP21
News | 4 January 2016
The Earth Statement (ES) campaign was born in April 2015 with the target being world leaders at COP21. Huge support for the Statement grew in the first few months alone, including from great leading figures such as Al Gore, Desmond Tutu and Richard Brandson. The movement development into a social media campaign, where people tagged and shared selfies with "This is my #EarthStatement". Thousands of people across the globe joined in to show their support for the Statement.
With this momentum, the ES had a significant profile at COP21, and with the public and media. As COP21 began, the ES campaign was published in adverts in the International New York Times (INYT) on 4th, 8th & 9th December. At the Action Day event at Le Bourget on the 5th December, Johan Rockström, Earth League Chair used his opening keynote speech as opportunity to discuss the Earth Statement to the 1200 delegates, including Segolene Royal and Al Gore.
The ES also featured prominently at the NYT Energy for Tomorrow conference (8-9th December), which had the congregation of 300 thought leaders, including Al Gore and John Kerry.
With this significant exposure having already spread the ES and its message widely in Paris and with the public, the most significant moments took place on Friday 11th December at the press conference. Here the ES, and the requirements that are needed to limit warming to below 2degrees, were drawn to the attention of world's leading media. The press conference provided headlines for the Washington Post, Reuters, New York Times, New Scientist, the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere. This meeting was described as an electric event, and came at a key moment in the negotiations and some commentators have suggested it may even have contributed to influencing the outcome.
Earth League in COP21, Paris
News | 4 December 2015
The Earth League and its members will have strong presence at the UNFCC climate talks in Paris throughout the duration of the talks, 30th Nov - 11th December. The Earth League fully supports transition towards carbon neutrality and a strong, equitable and fair science-based deal in COP21 to realise this. See the Earth Statement campaign by the Earth League for more. #EarthStatement
Sunday 6th December will see a couple of events by the Earth League. First there is the B-team roundtable with the media, where the Earth Statement will be presented by Johan. Similary, later in the same day, the Earth Statement will be presented to the Executive Committee of WBCSD, which consists of CEOs from around the world, and shall be chaired by Paul Polman.
The 9th December, will see the official handover of EarthStatement at the New York Times conference. http://inytenergyfortomorrow.com/ At this NYT event, which will be moderated by Tom Friedman, who strongly supports our endeavours, we will also host a high-level lunch event on the role of science and business in a transformation to a decarbonized future. On the same day, the Earth Statement will be featured as a wraparound on the cover of the New York Times, plus a full page advert inside, with the paper being delivered to the hotels where world leaders will be staying at, providing maximum outreach to the key target audience.
Then on the 11th, there is the Planetary Boundaries and #EarthStatement session to be held in Le Bourget Cicero pavilion.
“A ‘perfect’ agreement in Paris is not essential” was published five days prior to the talks in Nature, World View, by EL Chair Johan Rockstrom and John Schellnhuber. The key message is that Paris, despite the necessity to stay true to the Earth Statement criteria of staying below the planetary guardrail of 2C, should not be considered a failure if it does not reach all the way to this global carbon budget. Instead the key is to tip-the-logic from fossil-fuels to a transformation towards decarbonisation, by having a large enough group of nations, providing transformative commitments, and that Paris overall provides a credible enough commitment to an equitable and decisive transformation to a below 2 C world, which together with repeated revision, finance, technology, and adaptation, can give the confidence investors and communities need across the world to see action really moving.
Please see here: http://www.nature.com/new/a-perfect-agreement-in-paris-is-not-essential-1.18874
Naomi Klein joins the #EarthStatement campaign
News | 17 November 2015
In an exciting development for the #EarthStatement campaign, Naomi Klein joins the movement, through taking a selfie along side Johan Rockstrom in Sweden. They shared a stage whilst at an event on her new book This Changes Everything, and discussed how sustainability and peace for both the planet and mankind are instrintically linked and each are essential to for each other to be fufilled.
Earth League Annual Workshop in Beijing
News | 15 October 2015
The Earth League (EL) recently held its second Annual Workshop, kindly hosted by the Center for Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing. The workshop’s careful timing, held from the 12-13th October, was crucial for solidifying strategic steps and connections in the final lead up to COP 21.
Central to the workshop was a “High-level Dialogue on the Road to Paris”, where Earth League members met with Chinese climate leaders. This was a chance for the Earth Statement to be introduced to Chinese leadership as well as the World-Earth Systems endeavour to be presented to Chinese science experts.
Both were met with positive and enthusiastic responses. Discussion ensued between the Earth League and Chinese guests on cooperation in key future science areas surrounding the fusion of Earth systems science and societal and economic dimensions, for a critical integrated understanding of our potential future global pathways on a stable and resilient planet.
The Workshop also enabled the first official meeting of the Earth League’s new Earth-Doc (post-doc) team. The Earth-Docs, based across five different EL institutes, will be the working at the forefront of the World-Earth Systems, covering a wide range of separate critical research areas that are deeply intertwined and related in their impacts.
Austrian president announces nomination of IIASA Deputy Director General for IPCC chair
News | 29 September 2015
Heinz Fischer, the Federal President of Austria, announced at the Seventieth Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York (27 September) Austria’s nomination of IIASA Deputy Director General, Professor Nebojsa Nakicenovic as the next chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). President Fischer called on other countries to support this nomination and said, “I would like to mention the invaluable contribution of the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to providing scientific data and analysis. In October it will elect a new bureau. I am pleased to announce that Austria has nominated Professor Nakicenovic, the internationally renowned and respected scientist as chair of the IPCC, and hope that you will be able to support this excellent candidate.”
Earth League at Climate Week
News | 27 September 2015
On 26 September, the Earth League, together with the World Resources Institute, the Global Challenges Foundation and the United Nations Financial Initiative, held a breakfast roundtable event as part of Climate Week in New York City. Hosted by the Columbia University's Earth Institute, the lively discussions were dedicated to the topic of “Climate Risk and the Financial Sector”, and were attended by investors and other interested parties.
Earth League chair Professor Johan Rockström kicked off proceedings by sharing the key messages of the Earth Statement, followed by a presentation on climate risks from Earth Earth League member Professor Peter Schlösser. A panel of experts, including Mark Burrows (Executive Vice Chairman and Managing Director for Credit Suisse, Asia Pacific), Åsa Romson (Minister for the Environment and Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden) and Mats Andersson (CEO of pension fund AP4), then discussed the role of the financial sector in tackling climate change, providing powerful arguments that decarbonising investment portfolios is indeed a sound business proposition.
The Earth League was also represented by Prof. Rockström at an event organised by the Bteam on “The role of business in achieving the global goals”. This event was attended by international business leaders, including Richard Branson (founder of the Virgin Group), Ariana Huffington (Editor in Chief of the Huffington Post), both supporters of the Earth Statement.
Johan Rockström wins German Environmental Award
News | 24 September 2015
Johan Rockström, Earth League Chair and Director of Stockholm Resilience Centre, was awarded the German Environmental Award, along with Mojib Latif, professor at Kiel University. The award is also know as the Deutsche Umweltpreis. Rockström was awarded this for his development of science-based concepts and action frameworks for politics, business and society, and was described as ”one of the great thinkers and communicators in the field of sustainable development”. Altogether the award is worth 500,000 euros, amounting to Europe's largested environmental prize.
Earth League members share their expertise at CFCC 2015
News | 13 July 2015
Over the four days of Our Common Future under Climate Change (CFCC), which concluded on Friday- 10th July- almost 2,000 participants, from climate and social scientists to policy experts, gathered to discuss the full scope of scientific knowledge on climate change. At the conference, Earth League members provided a strong contribution throughout, sharing their diverse expertise in the forms keynotes, panel discussions and presentations.
Owen Gaffney (Director of International media and strategy, Stockholm Resilience Centre) stood in for Johan Rockström, Earth League Chair and Director of Stockholm Resilience Centre, to speak on Planetary Boundaries: Abundance within a Global Carbon Budget. In this session, he also introduced the Earth Statement by the Earth League, and its progression and increasing support by leaders across the globe.
Various Earth League members also gave keynotes, including Ottmar Edenhofer, Director of the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, on Responding to Climate Change Challenges, and Nebojsa Nakicenovic on Conceptualizing our Future: Storylines and Scenarios of Future Climate Change. Other keynotes were given by John Schellnhuber, Director of Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and Youba Sokona, Special Advisor on Sustainable Development at the South Centre.
Carlos Nobre, National Secretary for Research and Development Policies at the Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation of Brazil, also spoke in the panel discussion: Implementing Solutions and Overcoming Barriers. On the last day of the conference, John Schellnhuber participated in a plenary session with the Nobel Laureate and economist Joseph Stiglitz, as well as the World Bank´s Rachel Kyte among others, with the panel discussing Reflections on Collective Action and Transformative.
Earth League members Johan Rockström, Ottmar Edenhofer, Carlos Nobre, John Schellnhuber, and Youba Sokona also formed part of the CFCC’s Scientific Committee, which, along with the Chairs of the Organising and High-Level Committees, produced the conference Outcome Statement: Science Offers Robust Foundations for Ambitious Outcomes at COP21 and Beyond. The Statement can be accessed here.
To catch some of the talks from the CFCC, see the CFCC youtube page here.
Earth Statement gathering strong support from leaders worldwide
News | 3 July 2015
The Earth Statement has seen growing support in recent months, with new signatories from leaders in political, to community to religious arenas. Support has been coming from far and wide, from Africa, to the Middle East to South America, to the Caribbean. These include, HRH Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, personal envoy and Chief advisor to King Abdullah II of Jordan for religious and cultural affairs; Augustine B. Njamnshi, Chair of political and technical affairs committee, Cameroon, pan-African Climate Justice Alliance, Jean Oelwang, CEO, Virgin Unite in the UK, and Lila Karbassi, Head of Environment and Climate, UN Global Compact, to name just a few. Please see the progression of the statement’s support, and add your name here!
“Humanity at risk “: Schellnhuber speaks at the Vatican
News | 18 June 2015
Earth League member and leading climate scientist Hans Joachim Schellnhuber spoke at the Vatican on the encyclical “Laudato Si” and “Humanity at risk “. Pope Francis’ much anticipated encyclical “Laudato Si” on the environment and inequality has roots in both religious insights as well as the findings of climate science. “Not the poor but the wealthy are putting our planet, and ultimately humanity, at risk,” said Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), at the presentation of the encyclical in the Vatican. “Those who profited least from the exploitation of fossil fuels and contributed least to greenhouse-gas emissions are hit hardest by global warming impacts, unless we strongly reduce emissions.” In the run-up to the encyclical, Schellnhuber participated in several of workshops organized by the highly renowned Pontifical Academy of Sciences. He was furthermore made a member of this Academy on Wednesday.
Earth League launches the Earth Statement
News | 22 April 2015
The Earth Statement, written by 17 members of the Earth League, clarifies in 8 essential points what the international climate agreement at Paris 2015, COP 21, should achieve to provide the world with a decent chance of avoiding dangerous climate change.
Launched on Earth Day 2015, this Statement is an opportunity to join scientists in the call for much needed bold action by decision makers to pave the way for an ambitious, equitable and science-based agreement in Paris. To read, and support the Statement if desired, please see here.
PRESS RELEASE | 5 March 2015
The Earth League calls for 7 postdocs to embark on a new generation of integrated Earth system science towards global sustainability
The Earth League is advancing the next generation of integrated Earth system analysis. This will be realised through a joint state-of-the-art World-Earth systems program. For this, young scientists are invited to join an international team of 7 postdocs, i.e. the Earth-Docs. This new research shall ignite a critical deep fusion of biophysical and human worlds; which is crucial for understanding transformations in the increasingly turbulent Anthropocene. Johan Rockström, Chair of the Earth League and Director of the Stockholm Resilience Center, remarked, “This initiation of a new generation of science is in response to the urgent need to deepen our understanding of pathways towards future world development on a resilient and stable planet. It will deepen our understanding of global risks and opportunities, and inform potential transformative pathways forward”.
To learn more, please visit here.
For the full press release, please see here.
PRESS RELEASE 28 November 2014
“Climate change: the necessary, the possible and the desirable”
A group of leading scientists, including Earth League members laid out in a joint paper the key elements of the ‘the necessary, the possible and the desirable’ in relation to climate change, stressing the profound opportunities for transformation we have before us. The paper, published in Earth’s Future, was drafted following the Earth League Annual Workshop 2014: A World Under 2-4 degrees Warming, held in Santa Fe, New Mexico- the first in a series of climate activities and projects organised by the Earth League that will continue in the coming year and beyond. The full paper can be found here.
Lord Stern comments on IPCC AR5 Synthesis Report
Members News | 4 November 2014
Lord Nicholas Stern, Chair of the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at London School of Economics and Political Science, commented on the publication of the Synthesis Report of the Fifth Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released last friday. Stern said that it is obvious that climatic changes are happening now and that if we surpass a 2 degree rise, the world and society will face great danger. He also commented on the refusal of Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, to prioritise climate change in the upcoming G20 summit in Brisbane. Stern's full comments can be read here.