skip to Main Content

Greening the United Nations Charter. World Politics in the Anthropocene

Biermann, Frank. 2012. Greening the United Nations Charter. World Politics in the Anthropocene. Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, May/June.

Abstract

A constitutional turn is needed to bring the UN system in line with the urgent needs of planetary stewardship and earth system governance in the 21st century. Yet how this could be organized in practice remains a challenge and subject to political and scholarly debate. This article contributes to this debate by outlining four reforms of the UN system that would advance global decision-making by addressing major shortcomings in the current system: Lack of integration of economic and environmental policies in the UN system; institutional fragmentation and weakness of the environmental pillar of sustainable development; lack of high-level regulatory competence and oversight regarding areas beyond national jurisdiction; and insufficient integration of scientific insights into political decision-making. The reforms proposed would together create an Earth Alliance in the UN system, consisting of a high-level UN Sustainable Development Council, a World Environment Organization, a UN Trusteeship Council for Areas beyond National Jurisdiction, and an UN Global Environmental Assessment Commission.

The Working Paper is available here (pdf).

You might like these publication categories

Recent publications

Special Issue: Artificial Intelligence & Digitalization, October 2022

New technologies present significant opportunities to manage natural resources better and safeguard the environment. For instance, artificial intelligence (AI) is…

Assessing the effectiveness of orchestrated climate action from five years of summits
Five years of climate action and summitry have taught us valuable lessons. Orchestrators of climate action can positively influence performance by setting minimum requirements for credibility and robustness among the initiatives they engage.
Transforming Biodiversity Governance
Edited by Ingrid J. Visseren-Hamakers, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, Marcel T. J. Kok, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency