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On 7 December 2015, the Declaration was be handed over by Nobel Laureates Serge Haroche and Claude Cohen-Tannoudji as well as Joachim Schellnhuber and Jean Jouzel to the President of the French Republic, Francois Hollande, as part of the successful COP21 climate summit in Paris.
Please see the press releases below or the Elysee website for more details.

The Declaration

On the occasion of the closing day of the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, 3 July 2015, initially 36 Nobel Laureates signed the "Mainau Declaration 2015 on Climate Change”. The declaration reads as follows:

We undersigned scientists, who have been awarded Nobel Prizes, have come to the shores of Lake Constance in southern Germany, to share insights with promising young researchers, who like us come from around the world. Nearly 60 years ago, here on Mainau, a similar gathering of Nobel Laureates in science issued a declaration of the dangers inherent in the newly found technology of nuclear weapons—a technology derived from advances in basic science. So far we have avoided nuclear war though the threat remains. We believe that our world today faces another threat of comparable magnitude.

Successive generations of scientists have helped create a more and more prosperous world. This prosperity has come at the cost of a rapid rise in the consumption of the world’s resources. If left unchecked, our ever-increasing demand for food, water, and energy will eventually overwhelm the Earth’s ability to satisfy humanity’s needs, and will lead to wholesale human tragedy. Already, scientists who study Earth’s climate are observing the impact of human activity.

In response to the possibility of human-induced climate change, the United Nations established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to provide the world’s leaders a summary of the current state of relevant scientific knowledge. While by no means perfect, we believe that the efforts that have led to the current IPCC Fifth Assessment Report represent the best source of information regarding the present state of knowledge on climate change. We say this not as experts in the field of climate change, but rather as a diverse group of scientists who have a deep respect for and understanding of the integrity of the scientific process.

Although there remains uncertainty as to the precise extent of climate change, the conclusions of the scientific community contained in the latest IPCC report are alarming, especially in the context of the identified risks of maintaining human prosperity in the face of greater than a 2°C rise in average global temperature. The report concludes that anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are the likely cause of the current global warming of the Earth. Predictions from the range of climate models indicate that this warming will very likely increase the Earth’s temperature over the coming century by more than 2°C above its pre-industrial level unless dramatic reductions are made in anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases over the coming decades.

Based on the IPCC assessment, the world must make rapid progress towards lowering current and future greenhouse gas emissions to minimize the substantial risks of climate change. We believe that the nations of the world must take the opportunity at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in December 2015 to take decisive action to limit future global emissions. This endeavor will require the cooperation of all nations, whether developed or developing, and must be sustained into the future in accord with updated scientific assessments. Failure to act will subject future generations of humanity to unconscionable and unacceptable risk.

Mainau Island, Germany

3 July 2015
Download full text PDFs in the following languages:

The Signatories

The following Nobel Laureates have signed the Mainau Declaration on 3 July 2015 during the closing ceremony of the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting on Mainau Island.

    Peter Agre
    J. M. Bishop
    Elizabeth Blackburn
    Martin Chalfie
    Steven Chu
    Claude Cohen-Tannoudji
    James W. Cronin
    Peter Doherty
    Gerhard Ertl
    Edmond Fischer
    Walter Gilbert
    Roy Glauber
    David Gross
    John L. Hall
    Serge Haroche
    Stefan Hell
    Jules A. Hoffmann
    Klaus von Klitzing
    Harold Kroto
    William Moerner
    Ferid Murad
    Ei-ichi Negishi
    Saul Perlmutter
    William Phillips
    Richard Roberts
    Kailash Satyarthi
    Brian Schmidt
    Hamilton O. Smith
    George Smoot
    Jack Szostak
    Roger Y. Tsien
    Harold Varmus
    J. Robin Warren
    Arieh Warshel
    Torsten Wiesel
    Robert Wilson
The following Nobel Laureates support the Mainau Declaration and have agreed to add their name to the list of signatories.

Hiroshi Amano
David Baltimore
Aaron Ciechanover
Elias Corey
Robert Curl
Johann Deisenhofer
Jerome I. Friedman
Sheldon Glashow
Robert Grubbs
Leland Hartwell
Dudley Herschbach
Roald Hoffmann
Wolfgang Ketterle
Walter Kohn
Yuan T. Lee
Anthony J. Leggett
Michael Levitt
John Mather
Arthur B. McDonald
Mario J. Molina
Edvard Moser
May-Britt Moser
Erwin Neher
Ryoji Noyori
Paul Nurse
John O'Keefe
Douglas Osheroff
Arno Penzias
Adam Riess
Carlo Rubbia
Oliver Smithies
Jack Steinberger
Thomas Steitz
Horst Stormer
Thomas Südhof
John Sulston
Joseph H. Taylor
Steve Weinberg
Carl Wieman
David Wineland

As of 1 February 2016, 76 Nobel Laureates have expressed their support of the Mainau Declaration 2015.

The Initiators

The Mainau Declaration 2015 on Climate Change is based on an initiative from the circle of Nobel Laureates who participated in the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. Nobel Laureates Brian P. Schmidt, David Gross, Steven Chu, George Smoot, and Peter Doherty acted as spokespersons of the initiators.
Statement by Brian P. Schmidt

What is the key message of the Mainau Declaration?
The message is that while there is uncertainty, the IPCC report on climate change represents the best understanding of climate change today, and should be used as the basis of policy decisions by the world. The potential risks as outlined in this report are very high, and therefore action is required as part of the UNFCCC meeting in Paris.

 What motivated you to take action?
I see this issue as the single greatest threat to human prosperity, and I believe it is important for the best scientific evidence to be used by policy makers in making their decisions.

What would you like to achieve with this Mainau Declaration?
I would like to see the nations of the world chart a course of greenhouse gas emissions that provide a reasonable expectation that the  total average temperature of the Earth will not rise more than 2° C over the pre-industrial era.

What will be the next steps? Do you want other scientists, especially young scientists to join?
We will make the document available for other science Nobel Laureates to sign, and will encourage the young scientists to become informed on the issue and act to ensure their communities are fully informed by the best possible information
Brian P. Schmidt announcing the Mainau Declaration
Press Conference with Brian P. Schmidt, Steven Chu, David H. Gross, George F. Smoot und Peter C. Doherty
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