During his keynote address to the Club of Rome General Assembly in Amsterdam on 26 October, GCI Founding President Mikhail Gorbachev announced his Climate Change Task Force (CCTF) blueprint for a global emergency response to the climate crisis and called for heads of states to come personally to Copenhagen. GCI president Alexander Likhotal read the statement to an audience that included Queen Beatrix of Netherlands, Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen and other officials.
Former Netherlands Prime Minister, Ruud Lubbers, introduced Mr. Gorbachev complimenting him on his long-lasting commitment to the sustainability and for his ground-breaking work as one of the founding fathers of the Earth Charter. Following Mr. Gorbachev, the former President of Chile, current President of the Club of Madrid and task force member President Ricardo Lagos endorsed the words of President Gorbachev and the declaration. Mr. Gorbachev, Mr. Lagos and Mr. Lubbers then joined Club of Rome President Marlin Lees for a panel discussion on the need for urgent action on climate change at the national and international levels.
Other notable names in the field of environment and climate change on hand at the even included, NASA Scientist James Hansen, and executive director of Stockholm Environment Institute Johan Rockstrom and Chair of the California Air Resources Board Mary Nichols.
The Climate Change Task Force consolidates the efforts of organizations like the Club of Rome, Club of Madrid, the Nobel Peace Laureates and the World Political Forum. It is made up of international public figures and experts including Sir David King and Jean-Michel Cousteau. The inaugural meeting of the task force took place in Geneva on 5 October in the presence of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his team.
Over 600 people took part in the 2009 Club of Rome General Assembly that focused on energy efficiency, climate stabilization and economic recovery in the run-up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen later this year.
GCI President Alexander Likhotal, Secretary-General of the Club of Rome. Martin Lees, GCI Founding President Mikhail Gorbachev and the Mayor of Amsterdam Job Cohen
The Club of Rome is a global think tank that has been working on comprehensive solutions to the most pressing challenges of modern society since 1968.
Task force members Ian Dunlop and Mohan Munashinge gave keynote speeches and master classes during the two-day event.
The meeting was held in Amsterdam, one of the top 10 sustainable cities in the European Union. “The city encourages sustainability, works so that public buildings become climate neutral, reduce energy and water consumption,” said, Mayor Cohen. The city also promotes solar and wind energies and is well known for its use of bicycle transportation.
The CCTF has three clear main objectives:
(1) To urge governments to maximise the opportunities Copenhagen offers for a strong and coherent climate deal.
(2) To “recalibrate” the international response to climate change in line with the danger posed to human security and development; and
(3) To engage civil society in the search for appropriate and adequate solutions to the challenges of climate change, building the critical mass for a deep-rooted societal change necessary to contain and then to reverse the effects of climate change.