The work of the Academia Europaea Task Force on Environment, Climate and Sustainability over the last year, was presented during a plenary session during the Building Bridges Annual Conference. Among the suggestions of the Task Force is for AE to set up a Permanent Working Group on Environment, Sustainability and Climate (PWGESC).
The Task Force has been chaired by Verena Winiwarter, who also presented the work at the Annual Conference. Deputy Chair has been Poul Holm with Peter Wagner as a member for Class A1, Eystein Jansen and Nebojsa Nakicenovic as members for Class B, and Patricia Holm and Jane Hill as members from Class C.
AE-Bergen and Hub Manager Kristin Bakken have facilitated the work of the Task Force, but further administrative resources will be needed for the Permanent Working Group.
– The Task Force sees the need for a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach. They suggest the topics for the Permanent Working Group to not be pre-framed by the specialties of members, Peter Wagner said during the presentation.
– The Permanent Task Force should also seek cooperation and communication with other Academies, seeking to not duplicate efforts done by others, but rather cooperate, Task Force Chair Verena Winiwarter said.
– There are many links between topics important for sustainability issues, such as food and energy. The interdisciplinary nature of the issue indicates the Permanent Working Group should be formed across the different classes of the Academy, a thinking that also should inform future events, Jane Hill added.
The Task Force recommends that the Permanent Working Group (PWGESC) should consist of a core group of less than 10 people, two to three members per topic.
From the survey conducted by the Task Force, it is clear that AE members want AE to provide a distinctive, yet interdisciplinary approach, linking climate change, ecosystem transitions and human society transitions, with inputs across the four classes of AE.
Activities suggested by members were research-based policy reports, public debates, and expert hearings.