Johan Rockström opens TED Countdown

“We are now in a position to provide science-based targets for all global commons for all companies and cities in the world.” Our very own Johan Rockström opened the TED Countdown event on Saturday with a positive message that science can identify a safe and just corridor for humanity.

Johan’s talk focused on the state of the planet and the huge risks humanity is taking if we fail to protect the global commons. He argued that long-term planetary stewardship means we must ensure the stability of critical global commons.

“We have increasing evidence that we are rapidly moving away from the safe operating space for humanity on Earth.”

But his talk offered some optimism that if we act now we can significantly reduce risks.

The event, hosted by American actors Mark Ruffalo and Don Cheadle, marked a turning point for TED. The head of TED, British businessman Chris Anderson, says he realised that focusing on ideas is not enough for the world’s most urgent challenges. Chris wants TED to pivot from “ideas worth spreading” to turning ideas into action.  And the first challenge is slashing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030.

The event included the Pope, actors Jane Fonda and Chris Hemsworth, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres and former US vice president Al Gore. It finished with the launch of “Count Me In”, a new campaign to encourage one billion people to adopt 16 measures to reduce climate impact.


TED goes from ideas to action with Countdown (Forbes)

Campaign seeks 1bn people to save climate – one small step at a time (Guardian)