Sky Charter

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= The Global Commons of the atmosphere, our shared sky, is a critical context for an enduring and comprehensive solution to global warming.


Sky Charter and the Global Commons:

"We all depend upon the commons -- natural, genetic, material, intellectual, social and cultural -- for our survival and well-being. Every commons has four characteristics: a resource; the people who share it (users, managers, producers and providers); the value created through its production or preservation; and the rules that govern it. New ideas for sustainability in economics, financing, technology, communities, education and media are demonstrating the extent of market and state mismanagement of our atmospheric commons. Since no one really owns the air, humanity’s task -- and our challenge at this conference -- is to apply these essential commons principles to the atmosphere through a new framework of global natural law and trusteeship, including the creation of a Sky Charter and a Sky Trust.

For more information about the Commons, see Global Commons Trust at

At the Salvador, Brasil conference in 2010, we will focus on the special needs of the "Atmosphere Commons" we all share. Climate change is affecting everyone everywhere and therefore the only realistic and comprehensive response must be global. An approach that is limited to nation states, companies, or specific regions will not suffice. The notion of the Commons has a long history and refers to that part of land in a city or area that is held as a public trust and not allowed to be exploited by any specific group because it is understood as central to life. Humanity must now embrace a global sovereignty and understand the planet itself as a public trust.

The Global Commons of the atmosphere, our shared sky, is a critical context for an enduring and comprehensive solution to global warming. It forms an architecture for understanding the context of many other domains of action. We anticipate a groundbreaking discussion on an entirely new approach to climate change based on global ‘natural law’ in a world of sovereign states. We need a new path forward, and a Sky Charter founded on the shared Global Commons offers this path.

Says Kevin Hansen of State of the World Forum and the UN Global Commons Working Group:

"Humanity needs a new way of organizing itself. The collapse of the UN-led Copenhagen climate talks has made painfully clear that the system of nation states assigned the job of negotiating an international climate treaty on our behalf cannot function quickly enough to protect our planet.

How then do we organize our world, in a way that will act with justice, with sustainability, with compassion, and with speed, when our planetary long-term best interests – nay, perhaps our very survival - are at stake? We need a ‘third way’ forward that does not rely entirely on the too-often-failed approach of nation-state dialogue, and that does not rely on the overly narrow interests of business to protect our planet.

In May 2010, leaders from Brazil and around the world will attempt to define such a new way forward, for the critically needed vector of rapid solutions for our worsening climate. The scientific evidence now says that 80% greenhouse gas reductions are needed by 2020, not 2050.

At the 2020 Global Climate Leadership Forum in Salvador, Brazil, a Sky Charter will be presented in draft form as the declaration of why and how to function as a planet. The purpose of the Sky Charter will be to define that new path forward where our shared interests for the planet can converge toward solutions previously seen as intractable or impossible. It will define socially-chartered organizations with the legitimacy needed to negotiate with justice, on behalf of all life

The atmosphere, owned by nobody but shared by all, can through a Sky Charter be recognized as part of the Global Commons – a new yet ancient organizing principle for sustaining life on this planet.

The Sky Charter will declare a new basis of Originating Sovereign Authority for the Commons we share, recognized by both our ancestral and modern indigenous peoples, affirmed by the underlying principles of natural law based on science and justice. With these bases, the fair operating practices of a Global Atmosphere Trust or Sky Trust can be defined.

When climate negotiations are made by social-chartered organizations, each entity can become a Trustee for the planet. We envision that communities, cities, states, organizations and businesses can legitimately work to become such Trustees for the sky.

This third way forward has been rapidly gaining a body of global supporters. Major international leaders have begun to call for the Global Commons to be the organizing principles of our collective, shared future, in which each person's rights and responsibilities as a Trustee of the planet can be fairly articulated then actualized.

We think presenting the draft Sky Charter, and framing the elements of a Sky Trust, will be a solid step forward to begin, with further dialog producing a Sky Charter that can function as a Declaration of Responsibility for our climate, so action can happen now – because we need action now."

In this spirit, we will be discussing a proposed “Sky Charter” that seeks to obtain widespread acceptance of the earth’s atmosphere as part of the global commons. We will also profile the “Global Innovation Commons” which has researched all the patents around the world that are now in the public domain and which can be used by anyone anywhere for public benefit." (