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New Commonwealth agreement to revolutionise climate action

8 July 2017

A partnership between the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Cloudburst Foundation will give countries access to revolutionary science and technology approaches to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Secretary-General Patricia Scotland has said.

Announcing the Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations today, the Secretary-General said the agreement formalises an ongoing collaboration with Cloudburst aimed at developing bankable projects and solutions to reverse the human impact of climate change using a Regenerative Development to Reverse Climate Change (RDRCC) approach.

“In October last year, 60 of the world’s leading environmentalists came together at the Commonwealth headquarters in London to explore the possibility of drastically reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere and reversing the devastating human impact of climate change. The unanimous agreement was that we already have amazing examples of how the regenerative development approach can help us bring down emissions, while saving money and driving economic and social development.”

“Paul Hawken, one of our partners, has published the 100 most promising solutions to address global warming. Project Drawdown analysed the effectiveness of existing innovations and strategies, including educating girls, reducing food waste, promoting indigenous land rights and geothermal energy, and published the results in a groundbreaking body of research. It is the only publication in its category to reach the top of the New York best-seller list, and it sets the groundwork for further country-specific research in the upcoming months. Our initiative will draw from this research to help us identify the greatest opportunities to reverse global warming and also regenerate communities.”

Secretary-General Scotland continued, “We’ve already had strong backing from global climate action advocates such as Prince Charles, Anote Tong and Mary Robinson and captains of industry such as Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever for RDRCC. Last week, insurers, multinationals, investment banks and hedge fund managers were among global financiers expressing their interest and support.

“Formalising the partnership with the Cloudburst Foundation, an organization facilitating some of the most effective multi-stakeholder climate-change partnerships today, will help us mobilise the resources we need to make RDRCC a reality for Commonwealth countries.”

The next steps for the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Cloudburst Foundation is to create and lead an integrative framework and work plan for helping countries develop evidence-based strategies for reducing global warming and regenerating communities. These will shift predominant models from ones based on exponential growth and extraction to ones that engage living, evolving systems capable of regenerating communities and the planet.

Rola Khoury, Executive Director and Vice-president of the Cloudburst Foundation, said, “We couldn’t be more thrilled to be partnering with the Commonwealth around this revolutionary climate initiative. The potential of implementing regenerative development approaches throughout such a diverse, creative, and expansive “world family” that is the Commonwealth is unparalleled. We believe that through mutually-beneficial and reciprocal relationships—ones that draw from the best quantitative climate research of today but embrace the qualitative, on-the-ground experiences of local communities—we can regenerate the Earth and heal centuries of human and environmental exploitation.”