Regenerating the wealth of the Earth’s commons
Common Earth is an initiative of the Cloudburst Foundation and Commonwealth Secretariat. We are working with villages, cities, businesses and governments to scale climate action in Commonwealth countries. Our focus is Earth’s living systems – the land, forests, oceans, rivers, social institutions and local know-how that support human well-being. Our vision is for a world in which all living systems, including the fragile climate system, are rich in health. Unlocking the full potential of people and the places in which they live will deliver vitality and prosperity, and secure Earth’s precious commons for future generations.
Common Earth is a dynamic, multi disciplinary community working to unlock regenerative development approaches in the 52 Commonwealth countries. We work locally and regionally to build and share knowledge, foster innovative partnerships, and mobilize resources. Our mission is to empower people and communities to achieve their creative potential while regenerating the wealth of Earth’s commons.
Climate change is the quintessential tragedy of the commons. It is the collective result of multiple failures across many fields of human economic and social activity. Since before the industrial revolution, humans have used and extracted finite resources to achieve perpetual economic growth.
Sustainability approaches to ‘do least harm’ stop short of regenerating the vitality of Earth’s living systems. To reverse the tragedy of the commons and repair the climate, we need to treat people and the places they inhabit as integrated living systems, not isolated challenges.
Our strategy to restore health and vitality across Earth’s commons is to mainstream regenerative development approaches across all human activity. Regenerative development is an integrated approach to development that treats the potential of people and the places they inhabit as fully integrated living systems.
Our strategy is to work across actors, sectors, disciplines, and geographies; always tapping into the uniqueness and potential of a place and the people who live there. From large multilateral and multinational actors, down the individual smallholder farmer, we support differentiated solutions already linked to people and place, that lead to regeneration.
Our methods are both qualitative and quantitative. New science now shows that reversing global warming is possible by drawing CO2 from the atmosphere using an integrated repertoire of existing technologies and approaches. We meld the best climate science of today with the regenerative development approach because we know the process of solving complex problems is as important as the solutions.
Common Earth was founded in 2016 by the Cloudburst Foundation, following a historic meeting of climate experts held at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London. Common Earth is a community and framework for leading climate-change action across the 52 Commonwealth countries. The Secretary-General the Rt. Hon. Baroness Patricia Scotland QC has endorsed Common Earth’s goals to move beyond the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals. Implementing integrative measures to regenerate living systems will deliver economic and social vitality, and rebalance Earth’s carbon cycle.
The Commonwealth is an intergovernmental organization comprising 52 member states and representing one fifth of the world’s landmass. The Commonwealth is home to one third of all humanity and spans Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific. It includes the world’s largest, smallest, richest and poorest countries. An astonishing 60% of the Commonwealth population is under 30 years old and all major faith groups are represented.
Today’s youthful Commonwealth looks toward the future. Our shared histories, common legal frameworks, ideals of democratic government, and wide use of English, create a unique platform for transforming ideas into actions. This makes the Commonwealth perhaps one of the most underutilised instruments for change in the global community.
The Cloudburst Foundation’s mission is to identify and scale up innovations that will support a sustainable future for everyone. Cloudburst is the Secretariat and administrative heart of Common Earth. Under the leadership of Rola Khoury, Cloudburst convenes the multi-stakeholder network that is Common Earth. Cloudburst also facilitates innovative partnerships among diverse actors, and mobilizes funding to deliver Common Earth’s vision.