Imperial College London

Earth League assembles at Imperial to take on global sustainability challenge


Earth League assembles

Imperial welcomed the inaugural meeting of the Earth League, a voluntary alliance of scientists addressing earth science and sustainability challenges

The inaugural meeting of the Earth League, a voluntary alliance of leading scientists and institutions addressing earth science and sustainability challenges, took place at Imperial College London yesterday, 7 February 2013.


This international group of prominent scientists from world class research institutions will work together to respond to some of the most pressing issues faced by humankind, as a consequence of climate change, depletion of natural resources, land degradation and water scarcity.

They will consider the options for wider use of climate-compatible energy sources; increased and sustainable world food production; and novel approaches to urban planning.

The alliance will focus on how we can manage anthropogenic global change according to the principles of sustainable development.

United voice

The Earth League aims to provide decision makers with multiple options for addressing pressing sustainability issues, by delivering robust background information and enhancing transparency of the choices available.

By coming together in a self-organized alliance, the Earth League members will be a united voice in the global dialogue on planetary issues.

League members will meet annually to discuss a key earth science and sustainability issue in depth, using their combined expertise to assess the various solutions available. The findings from these discussions will be used to initiate new research activities or communicate new knowledge to high-level decision makers.

Pressing issues

At the official launch at Imperial College London the League called for a step change in sustainable living, arguing that truly transformational strategies would be needed to overcome the climate crisis and the many other pressing issues facing humankind today.

Professor Guy Brasseur, Director of the Climate Service Center, Hamburg and Acting Chair of the Earth League said "This is a wonderful initiative which will address the challenges of sustainable development that are best investigated through a co-ordinated approach by leading experts. One of its roles will be to provide high-level decision-makers in business and government with analysis of the pressing global issues faced by society and potential responses."

Professor Sir Brian Hoskins, Director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College London and a founding member of the Earth League said "We are very pleased to be part of this powerful grouping that aims to make a significant contribution to tackling global sustainability problems."


The Earth League assemble at Imperial College London
The Earth League: Back row (L-R): Nebojsa Nakicenovic, Daniel Klingenfeld, Jennifer Morgan, Johan Rockström, Klaus  Hasselmann
Front row (L-R): Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, María Mánez Costa, Guy Brasseur, Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Sir Brian Hoskins, Pavel Kabat, Peter Schlosser, Guanhua Xu

Earth League membership

As of January 2013, the following institutions and individuals have expressed keen interest in the emerging alliance:

  • Centro Mario Molina, Mexico City, Mexico (Mario Molina)
  • Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing, China (Xu Guanhua)
  • Climate Service Center, Hamburg, Germany (represented by Guy Brasseur) that will also host the Earth League Secretariat (María Máñez)
  • Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College, London, UK (Sir Brian Hoskins);Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE), Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil (Carlos Nobre)
  • International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria (Pavel Kabat)
  • Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics, London, UK (Lord Nicholas Stern)
  • Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg, Germany (Klaus Hasselmann)
  • Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, Berlin, Germany (Ottmar Edenhofer)
  • Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potsdam, Germany (John Schellnhuber)
  • Stockholm Resilience Center, Stockholm, Sweden (Johan Rockström)
  • United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Addis Abeba, Ethiopia (Youba Sokona)
  • World Resources Institute, Washington, DC, USA (Jennifer Morgan)
  • University of California at San Diego, Scripps Institution, La Jolla, CA, USA (Veerabhadran Ramanathan)
  • TERI University, New Delhi, India (Leena Srivastava);School of Earth Science, Stanford University, CA, USA (Pamela Matson)
  • Vienna University of Technology, Austria (Nebojsa Nakicenovic)

Download more information about the Earth League from Grantham Institute for Climate Change website [PDF]

See the press release of this article


Emma Critchley

Emma Critchley
The Grantham Institute for Climate Change

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