Commoning our way through the climate crisis
As we transition towards a society that lives within planetary boundaries, we need to focus on supporting, creating and enabling a culture of commoning. Addressing the deep rooted inequality from the fossil fuel economy by designing the new green economy around shared access, ownership.
We see the need for a rapid transition to address climate change as an opportunity to reimagine our communities as more united, resilient, greener, healthier and less polluted.
Involving communities in this process accelerates action by:
· Bringing people together to collectively define common visions for their locality
· Ensuring all those in a community have a say over the transition, not just the most politically engaged
· Moving people from concern and paralysis to agency and action
· Identifying the community led initiatives that can start or grow without external support
Communities and individuals need to be ready for the societal changes required across all areas of our lives – how we eat, travel and live. They need to steer how this happens, not be told what to do.
Involving people in decision making guides the transition in ways that are based on local insight and focus on what we value in our communities. Bringing people together at a community level is a key way to improve local resilience.
· Communities can take control of their own local assets in energy, heat and food
· Communities need processes to understand the risks, to better anticipate and adapt to the changes required.
· Communities need to be inspired and supported to create change on their own terms.
· Local action can create a sense of meaning and purpose, overcoming loneliness by bringing people together in new ways
The policy context may be set in Westminster, but every MP has to be rooted in their communities. It is the people who elect the and from whom they derive their ultimate legitimacy.
Communities that strengthen their citizenship create political space and pressure for climate solutions.
Communities that create and amplify networks of new voices across the socioeconomic, political and geographic spectrum create deeper political pressure.
Communities that demonstrate ambitious action, not at an individual level, but at a local, collective level show Westminster what is possible.
"To date, much of the success in reducing UK emissions has been invisible to the public…reaching net-zero emissions will require more involvement from people" - Committee on Climate Change .
What we do
We are learning about the role that commoning can play in moving us through the climate crisis in a way that ensures we do not recreate the inequalities of the past system in the new one.
While the commoning is an ancient tradition, knowledge of this mode of acting is not yet widespread. It feeds our collaborative instincts that are often suppressed. We will bring the knowledge of this way of being to the wider public.
Commoning generally starts where people are with what they have. Governments can play a part in facilitating these relationships between people and their resources to flourish. These solutions would meet government objectives but government needs help in designing, or undesigning its interventions.
We are learning to be practitioners of commoning both in our communities and supporting others to learn how to relate to their needs and resources where they are.
Citizen assemblies and Juries – research and support for citizen deliberation on climate
1. Guiding and researching local citizen deliberation with Peter Bryant,, supported by PCAN
2. Research on the national climate assembly with CAST team and Claire Mellier-Wilson
Local community action on climate
1. Research and recommendations on the potential for community action on climate with IPPR’s Environmental Justice Commission for the Local Trust.
2. Working with community energy organisations to grow their climate impact
1. Workshops with non-environmental organisations to develop climate engagement programmes
2. Working with film makers to develop a range of climate stories in different formats
Who we are:
Our Common Climate is a collective of individuals and organisations working on commoning to address climate change. If you would like to be involved please get in touch.