UN Climate Change Roadmap: Civilization must rise to the challenge


by Janet Ritz

An international panel of scientists has just issued their UN commissioned climate plan:

Their 166-page report, produced at U.N. request and sponsored by the private United Nations Foundation and the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society, was issued just three weeks after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an authoritative U.N. network of 2,000 scientists, made headlines with its latest assessment of climate science.

Their conclusion?

"Two starkly different futures diverge from this time forward," the report cautions. "Society’s current path leads to increasingly serious climate-change impacts... The other path ... will reduce dangerous emissions, create economic opportunity, help to reduce global poverty, reduce degradation and carbon emissions from ecosystems, and contribute to sustainability. Humanity must act collectively and urgently to change course through leadership at all levels of society. There is no more time for delay."

Issued after a two year study:

"Confronting Climate Change: Avoiding the Unmanageable and Managing the Unavoidable, " the final report of the Scientific Expert Group on Climate Change and Sustainable Development. The report, prepared as input for the upcoming meeting of the UN’s Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), outlines a roadmap for preventing unmanageable climate changes and adapting to the degree of change that can no longer be avoided.

And from the AP article, entitled Climate plan: Civilization must rise to the challenge:

the 18-member group, representing 11 nations, offered scores of recommendations: from pouring billions more dollars into research and development of cleaner energy sources, to mobilizing U.N. and other agencies to help affected people, to winning political agreement on a global temperature "ceiling."

to winning political agreement on a global temperature...

The experts panel said global carbon dioxide emissions should be leveled off by 2015-2020, and then cut back to less than one-third that level by 2100, via a vast transformation of global energy systems -- toward greater efficiency, away from fossil fuels, and toward biofuels, solar, wind and other renewable energy sources.

What's new about this report?

It has recommendations -- ways to solve the problem -- things everyone can do.

Here's a sample:

  • Improve efficiency in the transportation sector...
  • Improve design and efficiency of commercial and residential buildings...
  • Expand the use of biofuels...
  • Beginning immediately, designing and deploying only coal power-plant types that can be affordably retrofitted to capture and sequester CO2.
  • Improve preparedness/response strategies and management of natural resources...
  • Address the adaptation needs of the poorest and most vulnerable nations, which will bear the brunt of climate change impacts.
  • Build climate resilient cities.
  • Prepare for an increasing number of climate change refugees.

A full copy of the report is available here

Here's a link to the CNN/AP article:


To the UN Foundation:


To the Sigma Xi Society:


To the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs:


To the U.N. Environmental Programme:


And what can everyone do to help?

Here you go: