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Interdisciplinary Nobel Laureates Symposium on grand challenges of global sustainability

Held by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) October 9-10, 2007 in Potsdam/Germany.

Climate change and the associated ecological and socio-economic consequences constitute some of the most serious challenges humankind is currently facing. How can we ensure today that the world’s population of tomorrow – up to nine billion people by the middle of this century – will be able to live a decent life on our planet? How can we secure supply for the growing need of energy and achieve a more equitable growth of wealth? If “business as usual” continues, humanity could create a warm phase that has remained unparalleled for many millions of years. Many, especially southern, countries that contributed least to the rise of atmospheric greenhouse gas levels will be among the ones affected most.

Thus, the traditional model of industrialization must be replaced by a novel global paradigm for sustainable development, based on alternative energy generation, increased resource efficiency, accelerated innovation, and a more equitable growth of wealth. A daunting task.

Under the patronage and with active participation of the German Chancellor, Dr Angela Merkel, this unique symposium will assemble some of the top minds in the world to address crucial intellectual challenges. Nobel laureates from various disciplines, supported by other world-renowned experts, are invited to discuss their views of the best scientific and political strategies to achieve climate stabilization, energy security for generations to come, and equitable development on a global scale. The results, summarized in the “Potsdam Memorandum”, will be presented at the 13th UN Climate Change Conference in Bali in December this year as an impetus for converging on a promising new global deal for sustainability.


Deutsche Textversion