PSI professor gives evidence to US National Academy of Sciences

On 18 November in Washington DC, Professor Fred Steward gave invited evidence at the US National Academies of Science to the newly formed ‘Committee on Global Science & Technology Strategies and their Effect on US National Security’.

Referring to recent US studies which recognised climate change as a new national security issue, Steward argued that this needed a new level of international cooperation between the US, China and the European Union, as the three leading global emitters of greenhouse gases, to address a shared problem.

Drawing upon over 20 years of personal visits to China and meetings with leading academics and officials, Steward observed that since 2000 there had been a marked shift in opinion among China’s policy shapers. Most recently, the 2009 report on China’s Approach Towards a Low Carbon Future showed that, in addition to concerns over national resource constraints and local environmental problems, there is a growing commitment to address this global challenge. As well as positive signals from political leaders, there was also evidence of widespread favourable opinion among the Chinese public for major steps to be taken to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Professor Steward concluded that the new shared security concerns arising from climate change emphasised yet more strongly the need for global cooperation for innovation for a transition to a low carbon society.