Future Earth announces intent to launch Earth Commission

Johan Rockström, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Change and Co-Chair of the Future Earth Advisory Committee, and Amy Luers, Executive Director of Future Earth, speak at Arctic Basecamp in Davos on January 23, 2019.
The Earth Commission will be launched by Future Earth and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to compile the science of the whole Earth system to inform the setting of targets for safeguarding a stable and resilient planet – similar to the 1.5 degree target for climate.

Davos, Switzerland – Standing outside in the pitch-black cold at the World Economic Forum on January 23, 2019, a panel including Future Earth and partners announced to a live audience their intent to launch an Earth Commission. A group of top scientists will assess existing research to provide the science needed to define targets for sustaining the resilience of our planet’s life support systems such as water, land, ocean and biodiversity in a whole Earth system context.  

“Why our Planet needs an Earth Commission,” was hosted by Arctic Basecamp, an outdoor winter tent camp that returned for its third year at the World Economic Forum. With long-standing partner Christiana Figueres, the goal of Arctic Basecamp in Davos is to make sure world leaders understand the critical need to bend the emissions curve by 2020 and commit to radical climate action.

Moderated by Gail Whiteman, co-founder of Arctic Basecamp, the outdoor panel of Johan Rockström, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Change and Co-Chair of the Future Earth Advisory Committee, Amy Luers, Executive Director of Future Earth, Nigel Topping, CEO of We Mean Business Coalition, and special guest Greta Thunberg, youth climate activist, discussed the scientific context for an Earth Commission, what it will accomplish, and why it is unique from other current global scientific projects—and why that matters.

Compared with the progress on climate change science in the past 30 years, “we don’t have a comprehensive assessment of the science for the other life-support Earth systems – such as water, land, biodiversity and oceans. That’s what the Earth Commission is set out to do. It will provide a whole Earth system perspective," Luers said.

Luers announced that plan is to launch the Earth Commission – led by Future Earth and the International Union on the Conservation of Nature - this year, and its first report published in 2021.

Read more about the Earth Commission at our blog