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Planetary Boundaries and Earth System Governance: Exploring the Links

Biermann, Frank. 2012. Planetary Boundaries and Earth System Governance: Exploring the Links. Ecological Economics., 81: 4-9.

Abstract

This article discusses the concept of planetary boundaries that has been advanced by a group of leading experts around Johan Rockström. I place the concept of planetary boundaries in the larger framework of the emerging research paradigm of earth system governance, welcoming it as a crucial contribution that defines the overall goals of governance. Yet I also elaborate on the political conflicts that surround the identification of planetary boundaries, which are, in the end, a social construct. I then explore the policy and governance responses that may follow from the planetary boundary approach. In the conclusion, I point to several research challenges that flow from the current state of knowledge on planetary boundaries.

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