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Commonwealth brainstorming to tackle effects of climate change

Saturday, October 5th 2019 - 09:00 UTC
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The Common Earth initiative will be a network of projects that can be copied and adapted to suit communities around the world The Common Earth initiative will be a network of projects that can be copied and adapted to suit communities around the world

The Commonwealth on Friday launched an ideas-sharing network to tackle the effects of climate change through replicable regeneration projects. The 53-country bloc held a two-day brainstorming of indigenous groups, environmentalists, scientists and climate change experts at its headquarters in London.

The Common Earth initiative will be a network of projects that can be copied and adapted to suit communities around the world.

While the Commonwealth contains G20 industrial powers like Britain, Canada and Australia and emerging forces like India and Nigeria, many of its members are developing island microstates which feel exceptionally vulnerable to climate change.

Ideas that can hold sway in the diverse Commonwealth tend to be taken up more widely, such as its climate change accords which were instrumental in the Paris COP21 UN climate conference deal in 2015.

“This about looking at practical, existing strategies to clean streams, restore forests and damaged ecosystems, protect marine health, educate our populations and challenge the economic and development approaches that led to the decline of our planet,” said Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland.

The gathering heard from contributors on developing more sustainable economic models.

“We're in a time of crisis. Emergencies, historically, are a time of great innovation and often bring out the best in us,” said Stuart Cowan, regenerative development director at Capital Institute, a US-based finance think-tank.

“We need to start from scratch. We need to design economies that allow people to flourish within the limits of a finite planet,” he argued.

With a eye on funding, Secretary-General Scotland is to take forward the meeting's initiatives to upcoming summits of Commonwealth trade and finance ministers.

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