One of the principal aims of the conference is to bring together professionals from science, industry, finance, policy, technology, engineering, media and development to jointly discuss solutions to the pressures on the planet. In order to help ensure that the Conference meets the needs of these wide-ranging stakeholder communities and to help highlight its importance and relevance to them, the conference co-Chairs are establishing a Board of Patrons. The Board of Patrons will comprise about 20 leading figures including CEOs, senior politicians and opinion formers to help promote the event.
Joseph Alcamo, Chief Scientist of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Sir John Beddington, UK Government's Chief Scientific Advisor
Phil Bloomer, Director of Campaigns and Policy, Oxfam
Keith Clarke CBE, Director of Sustainability, Atkins, UK
Rowan Douglas, Willis-RE, UK
Colin Drummond, Chairman LWEC Business Advisory Board & Chief Executive Viridor
Tim Flannery, Panasonic Professor of Environmental Sustainability at Macquarie University
Peter Kareiva, Chief Scientist and Vice President, The Nature Conservancy
Bo Kjellen, Chair of the 1992 Earth Summit Preparatory Committee
Sir Christopher Llewellyn Smith, Oxford University, UK
Thomas Lovejoy, Heinz Center, USA
Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director General, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Pascal Mittermaier, Head of Sustainability EMEA, Lend Lease
Sunita Narain, Director, Centre for Science and Environment, India
Rudy Rabbinge, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
Jan-Eric Sundgren, Senior Vice President Public and Environmental Affairs, AB Volvo
Lord Turner, Chairman of the Climate Change Committee, UK
Sir Robert Watson, Defra Chief Scientific Advisor, UK
“Our planet is under increasing pressure. We face multiple and inter-linked global challenges - climate change, population growth, threats to food, energy and water security, as well as impacts on the Earth's ecosystems from which we can too easily see ourselves as disconnected. This conference is a timely opportunity to take stock of our scientific understanding of these pressures and their interactions, and to work across institutional and disciplinary boundaries on the steps needed to ensure a secure and sustainable way forward for future generations.”
“Tonight around 1 billion fellow humans will go to bed hungry. That number is set to get worse in coming decades unless we take action now on climate change, water and food security, and the inequality and poverty that leaves people vulnerable to increasing numbers of shocks. This conference can combine the best of science and social understanding to support action that will build the resilience of those most exposed to the risks of a Planet Under Pressure.”
“For many Governments and companies the Climate Change debate has moved from ‘if we do something’ to ‘how and is it enough’. For the professionals designing the built environment it challenges our fundamental design parameters. Trying harder simply will not be sufficient but the implications of embracing it is indeed a revolution is truly challenging. It is a challenge we as professionals should relish!”
The world is using resources at an unsustainable rate. Companies who adapt their business model to address this are prospering and will continue to do so; those that don’t will decline. This conference will appeal to hard headed business people who face up to realities and are concerned about long term shareholder value creation.
Our planet is under pressure, and this is the critical decade. Actions taken now will make a big difference into the distant future.
With the world’s population at 7 billion and climbing and demands for food, water, energy and minerals growing even faster than the population, it is time to take stock of planetary constraints and opportunities. If we are smart, there is no reason we cannot meet our resource needs; but if we thoughtlessly exploit our natural capital without regard to impacts, we will squander any chance at insuring better lives for our children. This conference will ignite the scientific inquiries and assessments needed to implement a sustainable future that everyone wants.
This conference will be of great importance not only for Rio+20, but for the whole sequence of international cooperation that will be necessary to turn world affairs in a sustainable direction – with the next ten years a most crucial period.
The challenges of providing sufficient food, water, and energy (on which I am currently working) to allow everyone on the planet to live decent lives, in the face of rising population, the threat of climate change and loss of biodiversity, must be addressed holistically. Planet under Pressure will play an important role by bringing together representatives of government, industry, academia and society, whose collective effort is needed to cope with these enormous challenges.
Humanity has already seriously overshot the ability of the planet to support us: planetary boundaries have been exceeded substantially for the carbon and nitrogen cycles and loss of biological diversity - the ultimate resource - is accelerating. Planet Under Pressure will go beyond hand wringing about spreading wastelands and dead seas, to show us ways forward. We need to manage the planet by managing ourselves, so the bounty of the living planet can provide opportunities for a better life for all
Our planet is under pressure as never before. Biodiversity – millions of plant and animal species and the ecosystems where they live – is the basic infrastructure that allows us, and our societies and economies, to survive and thrive on this planet. Yet this intricate web of life is being lost at ever increasing rates, with grim consequences. Science however shows us the way forward. We know that investing in nature can help solve some of our biggest challenges: climate change, food security, poverty, energy, economic growth. This conference will play an important role in bringing scientists and decision-makers together to help develop and deliver these nature-based solutions through 2012 and beyond. We’ve taken nature for granted for too long; now is the time to act.
Sustainability is driving many new business opportunities, often challenging us to measure outcomes and success criteria in new ways. This includes new ways of looking at technology, new ways of understanding behaviour drivers, and new ways of understanding how integrated systems work. Close collaboration with science and cutting edge, fact-based research is crucial for us to demonstrate the value of sustainability as we transition to the new economy.
I see this conference as a call for change, change that is desperately needed in our increasingly climate constrained world. The conference is timely, just before the Rio+20 meet, which hopefully will steer the world towards new action and new energy on environment. At this time, when the world is grappling with multiple and interlinked crisis – from financial to peak oil and to extreme weather events – we need all the wisdom and sagacity to find a new way to wealth without pollution.
Sustainable development is widely adopted as a common goal for the global world community. Food security, adequate energy supply, judicious use of water and natural resources, and the conservation of biodiversity are seen as crucial for the world. While achieving these all together may seem utopian, scientific analyses have shown that it would be possible if the right mixture of action perspectives in various fields is used. This conference enables a discussion on the operationalization of action perspectives leading to a broadly accepted policy agenda and a vital, and finely-tuned research agenda
Our world is facing huge challenges; climate change, depleting natural resources, and a large uneven distribution of wealth, to only mention only a few. The planet is clearly under severe stress. It is thus obvious that sustainability is and will remain a key concept in the future. To be able to meet the challenges business has to play an increasing role in mitigating the treats to the planet. I am convinced there is no contradiction in running a financially viable business, while at the same time securing a sustainable development. One can not only view a company's role in society as providing financial value to the shareholders. Companies also need to provide products and services that contribute to sustainable growth and development and hereby create value for other stakeholders such as customers, suppliers, employees and future generations. The complexity in the challenges we are facing need cooperation between several actors in society; we need to effectively use resources from industry, governments and academia together. This conference provides a unique opportunity to get access to the latest scientific results, to discuss the issue with peers and perhaps, most importantly, to build bridges between different stakeholders.
The world faces huge environmental challenges - population increase, challenges to biodiversity and potential climate change. It is essential that they are considered in an integrated fashion, but also essential that where there are available policy responses - for instance through the application of new technologies to reduce carbon emissions - we move rapidly to design and implement them. This conference will help identify both the overall challenges and the specific responses possible.
Human activities are changing the Earth's climate and further human-induced climate change is inevitable. Observed changes in climate are already affecting biological systems across the world. There have been changes in species distributions; population sizes; the timing of reproduction or migration events; an increased frequency of pest and disease outbreaks and many coral reefs have undergone major bleaching episodes. Projected changes in climate during the 21st century will occur faster than in at least the past 10,000 years. This conference contributes to the challenge in contributing to the negotiation of a long-term, global and equitable regulatory framework to limit greenhouse emissions at a level that limits the increase in global mean surface temperature.