Nobel Laureates' climate declaration welcomed

9 July 2015

The ANU Energy Change Institute and the ANU Climate Change Institute have welcomed the signing of the Mainau Declaration 2015 on Climate Change.
ANU astrophysicist and Nobel Laureate, Professor Brian Schmidt, was one of 36 Nobel Laureates in Lindau, Germany, to sign the emphatic appeal for climate protection, citing a "moral bound duty as a scientist on an issue that has such lasting consequences."
The signatories to the Declaration agreed unanimously that there is overwhelming evidence that emissions of greenhouse gases cause global warming.
Professor Schmidt highlighted the Declaration's statement that 'our ever-increasing demand for food, water and energy will, if unchecked, eventually overwhelm the Earth's ability to satisfy humanity's needs and will lead to wholesale human tragedy.'
"With this declaration, we outline the scale of the threat of climate change and we provide the best possible advice," said Professor Schmidt.
Professor Ken Baldwin, Director of the ANU Energy Change Institute, said the Mainau Declaration was an endorsement of the scientific method that underpins our understanding of climate change.
"This understanding is based on rigorous evaluation of the evidence over and over again by the scientific community, which now provides overwhelming indications that climate change is real and is caused by human activity," Professor Baldwin said.
"It is the scientific process that underpins our modern society and our economy, and provides the evidence on which political decisions can be made.
"At best, a parliamentary inquiry to examine the evidence of climate change adds nothing to this understanding, as science has already examined the evidence."
Professor Janette Lindesay, Deputy Director of the ANU Climate Change Institute, commended the Declaration's consideration of the potential impacts of climate change on human society.
"We are already seeing significant changes in the Earth's biophysical systems, ranging from rapidly diminishing Arctic sea ice, through rising sea levels to more intense rainfall events - amongst many more. 
"Allowing unchecked human-induced climate change to compromise the Earth's biophysical life support system is indefensible. When you weigh the costs of current and future harm associated with global warming against the many opportunities for sustainable development and prosperity inherent in many mitigation strategies, the choice is obvious."
"The Mainau Declaration is a clear call from some of the best scientific minds we have to heed the outcomes of the sustaiwarming to continue and the need for mitigation is urgent."
Professors Baldwin and Lindesay said the Mainau declaration was a timely reminder to the world leaders ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in November 2015.
The pair say the nations of the world must take the opportunity in Paris to take decisive action to limit future global emissions.
ned work by thousands of climate scientists over many decades; we cannot afford to allow the emissions responsible for anthropogenic global