United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Science & Technology

Statement from the S&T Major Group, in the Climate Change session of CSD/IPM
The Scientific and Technological Community sees a great urgency to take strong action now to confront
climate change. This is also one of the key messages on the Report of the Sigma Xi Scientific Expert
group, presented to us yesterday by Richard Moss from the UN Foundation.
One month ago, the IPCC confirmed that climate change is real, and that it is due to human activities.
The world community must take strong measures on two fronts: First, we must massively reduce
greenhouse gas emissions in order to mitigate the impacts of global warming. Second, we must design
and implement strategies to adapt to the consequences of climate change, which we will not be able to
escape, both in relation to environmental impacts and socio-economic consequences. Science,
engineering, and technology will be essential in the fight on both fronts, and there will be a need for a
significant strengthening of science, engineering, and technology efforts. Extensive North-South and
South-South cooperation will be important.
Specifically, we must improve out predictive tools and reduce uncertainties in projections of future
climate and its impacts, particularly at the regional level. In this respect, countries should enhance
support for long-term observations of the earth and climate system, through the global observing systems
now cooperating in the Global Earth Observing System of Systems (GEOSS).
In regards climate change related research, the contributions of the social and economic sciences needs to
be increased. We need a better understanding of the vulnerabilities of coupled ecological/socio-economic
systems, and of important climate change ? development linkages. We need improved knowledge and
technologies to better adapt to climate change.
The Priorities for Action paper by the Science and Technology Community and the SigmaXi report
distributed yesterday contains our detailed recommendations.