Science and philanthropy join forces to protect the Global Commons

Interview: Professor Johan Rockström, Global Commons Alliance

'Philanthropy spends two per cent on climate change. I think that number should be 20 per cent.' Photo: M. Axelsson/Azote

If we are to arrest climate change, safeguarding the global commons – the areas and ecosystems of our planet on which we all depend – is an absolute priority. With over 40,000 fires burning across the Amazon rainforest this year, the world woke up to this ecosystem’s role as a global commons – an essential part of Earth’s life support systems. But the Amazon is just one of many global commons under threat, including the oceans, ice sheets, biodiversity, freshwater and carbon cycle. A new initiative, the Global Commons Alliance (GCA) is instrumental in catalysing efforts to help stabilise these systems and guide businesses and cities towards planetary stewardship.

In a significant statement of philanthropic intent, four of Europe’s most influential foundations tackling climate change have today announced substantial funding of the Global Commons Alliance pledging in excess of $13 million for the next three years. These pledges, made by Porticus, Oak Foundation, Good Energies Foundation and MAVA Foundation, will enable the alliance to deliver an ambitious agenda to identify science-based targets for Earth’s life support system. The funding is in addition to the $3 million already provided by these foundations as start-up funds in 2019, when they joined the Ikea Foundation, the Global Environment Facility and ClimateWorks Foundation in financing key components of the alliance.

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