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The Earth League

people looking up at the stars

The Earth League, a voluntary alliance of leading scientists and institutions working on planetary processes and sustainability issues, was established to address current challenges and opportunities related to the future of our planet. The name “Earth League” highlights the two core ideas of the alliance. On the one hand, it emphasizes that the Earth League considers the Earth as a whole as a research topic. On the other hand, it stresses the concept of a union of world-class scientists and scientific institutions. The Earth League includes institutions and individual members, the Earth League fellows.

The Need for The Earth League

In order to understand existing and emerging challenges caused by pressure on our planet due to human activities and to find options for solving them within the necessary urgency, the world urgently needs transnational scientific and evidence-based voices. At this time, those capacities and voices do not exist at the scale needed.

There are institutions like the IPCC and similar international entities that are summarizing the state-of-the-art science, typically focused on certain aspects of the global system. They also communicate this knowledge to a variety of stakeholders as input into their decision-making.

There are also national academies representing national and international knowledge communities. Occasionally, they weigh in on debates about planetary problems described above. There are also international research programs focusing on global change, such asFuture Earth and World Climate Research Programme with both knowledge generation, coordination, and communication activities.

All these entities and activities provide invaluable insights into the dynamics of the Earth system, the problems it experiences, and possible ways forward towards a more sustainable future.

And yet, these institutions frequently are underfunded (like the global change programs), and not designed for fast responses to critical and/or emerging issues. The latter holds both for the production of new knowledge through research and for engagement with the stakeholders and cocreation of solutions with this community.

The Earth League has been established to make major contributions to this critical gap left behind by the present institutional landscape. It aims to bring together the major global thinkers around problems of fundamental and immediate global concern, and to respond on time scales that are synchronized with those of the existing and emerging challenges on time scales have become increasingly shorter due to the passive approach that has been taken in the past.

Benefits of The Earth League

The members of an alliance such as the Earth League are able to:

  1. use their resources for tackling crucial scientific problems together
  2. collaborate on setting and advancing research agendas for addressing existing and emerging problems related to sustaining life on earth and the systems that support it
  3. work together to attract new resources to this critical task in national and international arenas
  4. co-produce new insights as well as assessments within the alliance and beyond
  5. strive for cocreation of solutions based on the best knowledge science has to offer

While quite a few institutions already offer individual topical advice to certain stakeholders, the Earth League can provide a truly global perspective, by forming fast-track investigative capacities and by adopting a responsive style of dialogue with societies around the world.