Policy recommendation on the International Governance for Global Commons Stewardship

Background of the Policy Recommendation

In today’s interconnected world, the global commons are under increasing threat from human activity. Traditional forms of governance, based on the authority of nation states, have proven inadequate on their own in addressing the urgent challenge of safeguarding the global commons. A range of international initiatives involving non-state actors have begun to emerge, offering innovative approaches to tackling global governance challenges. Their role, however, remains incompletely understood.

This policy recommendations proposes a framework for understanding the role of international initiatives in safeguarding the global commons, and reviews the effectiveness of international initiatives in driving three system transformations: 1) decarbonization of energy, industry, and transport; 2) sustainable food, land, water and oceans; and 3) sustainable production and consumption of materials.

There are no silver bullets or copy-paste solutions to safeguarding the global commons; but our discussion paper identifies a number of actionable steps that can vastly improve the governance—broadly understood—of the global commons.

It is the result of collaborative efforts under CGC’s Global Commons Stewardship Initiative, launched in 2020 with international partners.

The full report can be downloaded below.