The Earth League

Earth Statements

​The Earth Statement’s role in COP21

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(c) Global Challenges Foundation

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.

​To view the Statement's website and to read the full statement, see here

Bridging Climate Science and Policy ahead of COP 21:

As the world approaches the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015 (COP 21) – the deadline to reach a global agreement on climate change, the gap between climate science and policy is widening.

The Earth system science and climate science now stands on a broad, integrated and robust knowledge base, covering an understanding of climate risks, impacts, adaptation, and policy measures. At the same time, the gap between scientific necessity and political will is widening, which reinforces the need and responsibility for the scientific community to communicate a comprehensive science-based message on what needs to be agreed upon at the Paris Climate Change Conference in December 2015 (COP 21).

Already in 2009 science provided overwhelming evidence for the urgent need to reach peak global emissions of greenhouse gases before 2020, in order to stand a reasonably good chance of avoiding dangerous climate change, i.e. 2 C average global warming. Six years later, the scientific evidence on climate change and impacts has not only been further strengthened, but also our understanding of the level of risk. Taking science seriously means reaching an ambitious global agreement in Paris in 2015.

The Earth League Earth Statement, funded by the Global Challenges Foundation in 2014/2015, aims to support the scientific community to communicate a comprehensive science-based message to policy-makers on what the Paris meeting needs to agree upon to avoid dangerous climate change. The Earth League will mobilise support for the message not only among scientists but also from key stakeholder groups, such as civil society, business leaders, religious leaders, mayors, parliamentarians and youth.

For more details please contact:

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(c) Global Challenges Foundation

Project Manager: Marlene Grundstrom
Phone +44 7908393381

More information about the Global Challenges Foundation