News Release

Climate crisis has no borders: Physicists join forces to support fight against climate change on global scale #COP26

AIP, physical sciences organizations from 13 countries commit to supporting global green economy

Business Announcement

American Institute of Physics

WASHINGTON, November 17, 2021 -- The American Institute of Physics is uniting with societies around the world to commit to further international collaboration of physicists in combating the challenges of climate change and contributing to a greener global economy.

A coalition involving AIP, the European Science Federation, International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, Institute of Physics for the UK and Ireland, and physical science organizations from 13 countries signed the global call to action regarding the role of physics to mitigate the climate crisis and embrace the idea of a green, environmentally sustainable economy.

The organizations pledge to continue international collaboration in research, evolve physics education, focus engagement with governments to promote physics-based solutions, and welcome minoritized, excluded, and marginalized peoples to build careers in physics. In addition, the global statement calls for national physical science societies and federations to commit to working with other disciplines and foster collaboration, improve scientific literacy, and welcome a diverse and inclusive physical sciences community.

"Physical scientists will be at the forefront of addressing the looming climate change emergency, bringing their research in energy sciences, Earth-system science, and other critical knowledge to the development of innovative technology that will drive global economic growth in an environmentally sustainable way while also mitigating global climate change," said Michael Moloney, CEO of AIP. "Scientific breakthroughs and innovations need to come from research, and the physical sciences will play a vital role in this multigenerational and global challenge."

The physics organizations call on governments to uphold fundamental scientific freedoms, including freedom of movement, and to create policies that promote the mobility of scientists across national boundaries.

Progress toward a greener economy will require breakthrough technologies that are economically successful and inclusive on a global scale. This requires collaboration by physicists from all countries to conceptualize and produce the ideas and products needed to provide for economic growth while protecting the environment.

"The U.S. physical sciences enterprise contributes substantively to addressing and mitigating this global crisis. Our climate problems do not stop at the borders of our countries or scientific disciplines, and neither should solutions," said Moloney. "As we all consider the outcomes of the recent COP26 commitments by the global community of nations, this call to action is merely one step of many our physics community will need to take toward significant and lasting change if we are to avoid a global catastrophe."

The letter has been signed by

  • American Institute of Physics
  • American Physical Society
  • Canadian Association of Physicists
  • Chinese Physical Society
  • European Physical Society
  • French Physical Society
  • German Physical Society
  • Indian Physics Association
  • Institute of Physics for the UK and Ireland
  • International Union of Pure and Applied Physics
  • Italian Physical Society
  • Japan Society for Applied Physics
  • Netherlands Physical Society
  • Optica (formerly OSA)
  • Physical Society of Japan
  • South African Institute of Physics

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About American Institute of Physics

The American Institute of Physics (AIP) is a 501(c)(3) membership corporation of scientific societies. AIP pursues its mission—to advance, promote, and serve the physical sciences for the benefit of humanity—with a unifying voice of strength from diversity. In its role as a federation, AIP advances the success of its Member Societies by providing the means to pool, coordinate, and leverage their diverse expertise and contributions in pursuit of a shared goal of advancing the physical sciences in the research enterprise, in the economy, in education, and in society. In its role as an institute, AIP operates as a center of excellence using policy analysis, social science, and historical research to promote future progress in the physical sciences.


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