skip to Main Content

Transforming Governance and Institutions for Global Sustainability: Key Insights from the Earth System Governance Project

Biermann, Frank, Kenneth Abbott, Steinar Andresen, Karin Bäckstrand, Steven Bernstein, Michele M. Betsill, Harriet Bulkeley, Benjamin Cashore, Jennifer Clapp, Carl Folke, Aarti Gupta, Joyeeta Gupta, Peter M. Haas, Andrew Jordan, Norichika Kanie, Tatiana Kluvánková-Oravská, Louis Lebel, Diana Liverman, James Meadowcroft, Ronald B. Mitchell, Peter Newell, Sebastian Oberthür, Lennart Olsson, Philipp Pattberg, Roberto Sánchez-Rodríguez, Heike Schroeder, Arild Underdal, Susana Camargo Vieira, Coleen Vogel, Oran R. Young, Andrea Brock, and Ruben Zondervan. 2011. Transforming Governance and Institutions for Global Sustainability: Key Insights from the Earth System Governance Project. Earth System Governance Working Paper, No.17.

Abstract

A revised version of this Working Paper has been published (open access) as:

Transforming governance and institutions for global sustainability: key insights from the Earth System Governance Project. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 4(1): 51-60. 2012. [information & download]

The current institutional framework for sustainable development is not strong enough to bring about the swift transformative progress that is needed. This paper contends that incrementalism—the main approach since the 1972 Stockholm Conference—will not suffice to bring about societal change at the level and speed needed to mitigate and adapt to earth system transformation. Instead, the paper argues that transformative structural change in global governance is needed, and that the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro must turn into a major stepping stone for a much stronger institutional framework for sustainable development. The article details core areas where urgent action is required. The article is based on an extensive social science assessment conducted by 32 members of the lead faculty, scientific steering committee, and other affiliates of the Earth System Governance Project.

You might like these publication categories

Recent publications

Climate Refugees: Global, Local and Critical Approaches

The last few years have witnessed a flurry of activity in global governance and international lawseeking to address the protection…

The Political Impact of the Sustainable Development Goals: Transforming Governance Through Global Goals?

Written by an international team of over sixty experts and drawing on over three thousand scientific studies, this is the…

The Normative Foundations of International Climate Adaptation Finance

Billions of dollars are annually transferred to poor nations to help them adapt to the effects of climate change. This…