Earth Commission at Stockholm +50 conference

Five decades after the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment another major international environmental meeting took place in Stockholm:

Stockholm+50: a healthy planet for the prosperity of all – our responsibility, our opportunity”.

The conference had five themes: reimagining the future; through regeneration of ecosystems, of community and social resilience; to address a green and inclusive Covid recovery; to rebalance resource use and development.

The meeting was held on June 2 and 3, 2022, at Stockholmsmässan in Älvsjö. However, the full week of 31 May – 5 June was filled with various activities all over the city.

Earth Commission members Joyeeta Gupta, Diana Liverman, David Obura, and Johan Rockström were engaged in the Stockholm+50 Leadership Dialogues leading up to the conference and the Co-Chairs Joyeeta Gupta and Johan Rockström participated during the week.

‘An event for the global commons’
Tuesday 31 May, 18:00-19:30, SPACE Arena, Sergelstorg 2, Stockholm, STHLM+50 Climate Hub

We Don’t Have Time and UNDP hosted a public arena for the week of Stockholm+50 with up to 500 people in physical attendance. As part of a 90-minute program Johan Rockström and Joyeeta Gupta discussed how Stockholm+50 is a critical moment to support the need for an early warning system for Earth’s tipping points and commit to identifying safe and just boundaries for people and planet. The talk was framed with the overarching question: “How do we become planetary stewards?” and was convened by the Global Commons Alliance. Twitter broadcasted the event globally, to an audience of over 10 million million people. Watch the recording below.

Letter from science – 50 years later
Wednesday 1 June, 08:15-17:00, Stockholm University

Fifty years ago, on the eve of the 1972 Stockholm Conference, a group of scientists wrote a letter – the Menton Message  – to their then 3.5 billion neighbours. They warned about the danger posed by the environmental crisis and nuclear arms, and about the possibility of extinction of life on Earth.

In the lead up to Stockholm+50, the International Science Council, Future Earth and Stockholm Environment Institute convened a group of global experts under the observation of UNEP, to reflect on the Menton Message. Earth Commissioners Kristie Ebi, David Obura and the Earth Commission secretariat contributed to the letter that was highlighted, for instance at the science conference “Sustainable planet, sustainable health – how science-based solutions can drive transformative change”  at Stockholm University.

Watch a recording of the launch here, under ‘Closing Session’.

  • Read, support and share the letter here.
  • Read the Nature Commentary here.
  • Read the Nature Editorial here


‘Tilting to green – can positive tipping points accelerate sustainable solutions?’
Saturday 4 June, at 14:00 – 15:00 at Liljevalchs art gallery, Djurgården

At this open and free to attend event, Prof. Joyeeta Gupta, Co-chair of the Earth Commission, took part in one of the two panel discussions initiated and arranged by the Global Challenges Foundation on positive tipping points and social levers for transformative change. Watch the recording below.

Art action – Eat the Artwork
Friday 3 June,  Stockholm (Central Station, Gustav Adolfs Torg, Stockholmsmässan, Stockholm University, Moderna Museet)

The Earth Commission Co-Chairs and staff also had the opportunity to interact with the British award winning artist Jeremy Deller, whose art action GOD GRÖN – EAT THE ARTWORK – took place on 3 June, arranged by Moderna Museet. 10 000 Energy bars based on kelp and insects were handed out all over Stockholm, to highlight the need for more sustainable food.