The global scientific community must deliver to society the knowledge necessary to assess the risks humanity is facing from global change. It must provide knowledge of how society can effectively mitigate dangerous changes and cope with changes we cannot manage.
Based on the latest scientific evidence, the London Planet Under Pressure conference will provide a comprehensive update of our knowledge of the Earth system and the pressure our planet is now under. The London conference will focus the scientific community’s and the wider world’s attention on climate, ecological degradation, human well-being, planetary thresholds, food security, energy, governance across scales and poverty alleviation.
The conference will discuss solutions, at all scales, to move societies on to a sustainable pathway. It will provide scientific leadership towards the 2012 UN Rio +20 conference, also in 2012.
Guiding the direction for the conference is the International Council for Science’s five grand challenges for global sustainability research: observations, forecasting, thresholds, governance and economic requirements, and innovation (technological, political and societal). The conference will also support international assessment processes, for example the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the new biodiversity assessment, plus the Millennium Development Goals.
The programme will be designed to attract senior policymakers, industry leaders, NGOs, young scientists, the media, health specialists, and academics from many disciplines.
The London conference will act as a platform to strengthen and enlarge the global-change research community and mark a move to a new vision for global-change research. Further, the vision is for a conference that connects leading social and natural scientists with business, investors and the development agenda to create a new understanding and environment for tackling global sustainability challenges.
Working across scales will be a strong theme for the conference. The scientific community will stress that there must be many governance and technological solutions at all levels, from local and national, to regional and global. It will stress that while there are many threats, global change also provides many opportunities.
The event will include strong policy interaction and a dedicated policy day. Through workshops and seminars, delegates will be encouraged to discuss options and solutions to climate change, energy, food security, water, poverty and other pressing issues.