Declaration and Recommendations of the Interdisciplinary Round Table on Climate Change and Energy Strategies
13-15 Sept. 2007, Wasan Island, Muskoka Lakes, Ontario, Canada,
Sponsored by Science for Peace, David Suzuki Foundation and Breuninger Foundation.1
The first clear warnings of danger due to emissions of greenhouse gases due to human activity emerged 25 years ago. Prudence would have called for precautionary action at that time to slow down the growth in emissions of greenhouse gases. Since then, the scientific understanding of the impact of human activity on global warming has been overwhelmingly confirmed; key predictions based on that understanding have started to occur. Evidence has emerged that the potential impacts of global warming will be much worse than predicted even five years ago.
Individuals, corporations, and all levels of government around the world have a duty to act as global citizens on the basis of the danger posed to life on Earth and to the well-being of the human race as whole.
- We declare that human induced climate change and energy security, in particular peaking of the world oil supply are crucial issues requiring immediate action.
- We declare agreement with the IPCC working group 1 on the physical basis of climate change that: “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations”.2
- We identify as the root causes of this crisis:
a) the large per capita overconsumption and waste of natural resources in the industrialized countries
b) the growth paradigm (economic growth for its own sake)
c) the large and growing human population
d) the very large dependence on fossil fuel based energy
e) the resistance by vested interests to necessary change in energy technology
f) the lack of appropriate political leadership
g) the lack of global governance to protect the global commons
- A global solution framework
We must begin immediately to:
a) curb overconsumption and give priority to efficiency, conservation and the avoidance of waste
b) promote lower birthrates by empowerment of women through educational, economic and social measures, including access to birth control information and services
c) focus globally and locally on developing low impact renewable energy infrastructure and technologies (e.g. biomass, geothermal, hydro, ocean energy, solar, wind) to its full potential, so as to avoid large scale biofuel usage and nuclear energy
d) reduce carbon emissions by creating a just and universal framework through the implementation of appropriate incentives, government regulation, legislation and taxation
e) preserve forests, especially tropical rainforests
- Implementation of solutions: We urge that
a) all levels of government as well as the UN and international organizations can and should embrace the Wasan Action Framework
b) media, corporations, the educational system from kindergarten to university and all civil society should collaborate on implementing this Wasan Action Framework
2 IPCC, 2007: Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Solomon, S., D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K.B. Averyt, M.Tignor and H.L. Miller (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA. Page 10.