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The Session concluded successfully on June 27, 2013. This statement resulted from the discussions held among 50 participants from 26 countries and varied backgrounds who came together in Salzburg. The views expressed in this Statement are those of session participants individually and should not be taken to represent those of any organizations to which they are affiliated.
Finite Planet, Infinite Potential:
The Salzburg Statement on New Governance for Sustainability
We, citizens of many countries and of the world, share our one and only planet with more than seven billion others. We call for leadership, justice and imagination at all levels to find ways to preserve the Earth and enhance prosperity and wellbeing for all.
We face a daunting future. Unless we change course, we will condemn our children and grandchildren to an uninhabitable planet. We must act with urgency, inspired by individual and collective wisdom, to address critical challenges such as climate change, population growth and biodiversity loss. We have to support and sustain life, now and into the future.
We need innovative approaches to governance that reflect the complexity and interdependence of sustainability challenges and that safeguard human dignity, gender equity and the common good.
This Statement is addressed to leaders of governments and international organizations, business, religion, civil society, science, education and the media, and to individuals. Ten priority actions can transform life chances and opportunities for current and future generations throughout the world:
- Move beyond narrow short-term thinking and vested interests, especially in decisions concerning food, water and energy security.
- Encourage and reward social and technological innovation for a low-carbon economy that addresses the needs of all.
- Support and replicate, on a sound evidence basis, dynamic and inclusive initiatives by cities and local communities.
- Engage civil society, business, and sub-national authorities in decision-making and partnerships for action.
- Stop subsidies to polluters, put a price or tax on carbon, and ensure that markets value natural capital.
- Use economics, finance and trade systems in new ways that compound rather than discount future value, encourage sustainable lifestyles, and enhance global prosperity, equity and resilience.
- Integrate assessment of climate and disaster risks, and supply chain viability, in infrastructure and other investments.
- Agree on common goals and indicators to accelerate and measure progress.
- Invest in exchange of knowledge and best practices, and in education for sustainability at all levels.
- Embed the rule of law and accountability in all decision-making and implementation, nationally and internationally.
Together, women and men of all nations, races and creeds, we have the knowledge and means to avert the grave threats facing humanity. The global transformation required may not be fast, easy, simple or cheap - but it is perfectly possible. We offer two proposals for urgent consideration:
- Establish innovative, independent and powerful representations for future generations to align today's policies and actions with the long-term common good.
- Convene open and inspiring exchanges at neutral fora, such as Salzburg Global Seminar, to build trust and confidence between high-level decision makers and stakeholder groups, and look for new thinking and breakthrough ideas
Salzburg, June 2013
Please click here for a pdf-version of the statement:
Finite Planet, Infinite Potential: The Salzburg Statement on New Governance for Sustainability
Please click below for translated versions of the Salzburg Statement: