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Perspectives

Read science-based blog posts and op-ed pieces contributed by scholars in the network.

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Towards a green trade strategy for Africa
The future of trade is green, and the future of trade is African. But with the global economy increasingly shaped by geopolitical and climate imperatives, how can the continent best advance its development goals?
Blog
Homebound, despite rising water levels

Climate change can trigger a large influx of refugees, as expected. But according to Ingrid Boas…

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Challenges for cities in an era of compound crises

Linda Westman, Rachel Macrorie & Marielle Papin write about 'Compound Urban Crises' and how interdisciplinary discussion…

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Shifting power dynamics in climate change research
The climate crisis is fraught by unequal power dynamics, and dominant research practices can often reproduce these power relations. Here are five ways that individual researchers can aim to shift those power dynamics and adopt a decolonial approach to research.

Recent publications

2021 Annual Report
The Earth System Governance Project seeks to mobilise and advance scholarship at the interface between global environmental change and governance. Discover how by learning more about the project in this summary of 2021!
Transforming Biodiversity Governance

Over fifty years of global conservation has failed to bend the curve of biodiversity loss, so we need to transform…

Special Issue: Towards a Sectoral Perspective on Global Climate Governance. Volume 8, June 2021

Tim Rayner, Sebastian Oberthür and Lukas Hermwille coordinated this special issue. The authors derived six major findings from the contributions…

Special Issue: Artificial Intelligence & Digitalization, March 2022

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

Special Issue: S.O.S. – Science for Ocean Sustainability, March 2022

The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development will take place between 2021 and 2030. It offers a…

Representation and Rights of the Environment

Attending to the 'Cry of the Earth' requires a critical appraisal of how we conceive our relationship with the environment,…

Compound urban crises

The crises that cities face—such as climate change, pandemics, economic downturn, and racism—are tightly interlinked and cannot be addressed in…

Decarbonising Economies

Based on an interdisciplinary investigation of future visions, scenarios, and case-studies of low carbon innovation taking place across economic domains,…

Just transition towards a bioeconomy: Four dimensions in Brazil, India and Indonesia

The bioeconomy has been portrayed as a transformational change to replace fossil-based fuels and other goods such as plastics. It…

The Bioeconomy–Biodiversity Nexus: Enhancing or Undermining Nature’s Contributions to People?

Bioeconomy has become fundamental for a post-fossil-resources society, in line with climate change mitigation ambitions. Although it does not have…

Quo vadis, Brazil? Environmental Malgovernance under Bolsonaro and the Ambiguous Role of the Sustainable Development Goals

Brazil has continuously been in the international spotlight, first as an emerging economy improving social inclusion and sustainable development, then…

Learning in Governance: Climate Policy Integration in the European Union

An investigation of the role of learning and its impact on policy change, as exemplified in European Union climate policy…

Unacceptable Agency: Part I of The Problem of an Unloving World

The Earth System Governance Project is the largest scholarly body in the world devoted to articulating governance of the Earth’s…

Benefit sharing and conflict transformation: Insights for and from REDD+ forest governance in sub-Saharan Africa

In light of growing pressure on forests benefit sharing is increasingly gaining attention as a governance approach to facilitating more…

Legal Framework for Sustainable Floating City Development: A Case Study of the Netherlands

Sustainable floating city development has recently gained increasing popularity as a serious solution to climate change threats and land scarcity…

Friends of the Earth Netherlands (Milieudefensie) v Royal Dutch Shell

This note provides an analysis of the judgment of the District Court of The Hague, Netherlands, in the case initiated…

Channeling environmentalism into climate policy: An experimental study of Fridays for Future participants from Germany

This study argues that scholars and policy-makers need to understand environmental activists better to bridge the gap between growing activism…

Towards a just climate change resilience. Developing resilient, anticipatory and inclusive community response

This book provides an accessible overview of how efforts to combat climate change and social inequalities should be tackled simultaneously.…

Design Trade-Offs Under Power Asymmetry: COPs and Flexibility Clauses

Negotiating parties to an environmental agreement can manage uncertainty by including flexibility clauses, such as escape and withdrawal clauses. This…

Violent Silence: The Erasure of History and Justice in Global Climate Policy

A widespread failure to recognize the social and political-economic causes of climate-related crises is an erasure of history that hides…

Pluralising planetary justice beyond the North-South divide: Recentring procedural, epistemic, and recognition-based justice in earth-systems governance

The concept of planetary justice has received increasing attention within the field of earth systems governance. Although a significant epistemic…

Arguments and architectures: Discursive and institutional structures shaping global climate engineering governance

Highlights • Climate engineering presents a novel challenge for global environmental governance • Institutional and discursive structures co-shape global environmental…

Certifying China: The Rise and Limits of Transnational Sustainability Governance in Emerging Economies

A comprehensive study of the growth, potential, and limits of transnational eco-certification in China and the implications for other emerging…

Forest Governance: Hydra or Chloris?

Many forest-related problems are considered relevant today. One might think of deforestation, illegal logging and biodiversity loss. Yet, many governance…

Advancing urban transitions and transformations research

Urban transitions and transformations research fosters a dialogue between sustainability transitions theory an inter- and transdisciplinary research on urban change.…

Enriching the concept of solution space for climate adaptation by unfolding legal and governance dimensions

Conspicuous interdisciplinary effort has been spent on addressing the consequences of climate change in a forward-looking way. The concept of…

The role of niche and regime intermediaries in building partnerships for urban transitions towards sustainability

The recent literature on intermediaries in urban sustainability transitions has studied their role as a translator between innovative niches and…

The elusive search for sustainable high seas fisheries: What role for an oceans governance approach?

The legal regime for the management of high seas fisheries has evolved extensively in the past decades, through the development…

Managing stakeholder perception and engagement for marine energy transitions in a decarbonising world

 There is a growing body of scholarship on the enabling conditions for energy transitions in various energy contexts globally. Transition…

Working Together the achieve the Paris Climate Goals and Sustainable Development: International Climate Cooperation and the role of developing countries and emerging economies

Sustainable development requires that the climate system be stabilised between 1.5°C and 2°C of average global warming. This necessitates a…

Negotiating Climate Change in Crisis

The book features several Earth System Governance Scholars and is specifically intended to provide useful input to the COP26 process.…

Beyond rules: How institutional cultures and climate governance interact

Institutions have a central role in climate change governance. But while there is a flourishing literature on institutions' formal rules,…

Contrasting the framing of urban climate resilience

Cities worldwide face climate change and other complex challenges and strive to become more resilient to the shocks and stresses…

The political effects of emergency frames in sustainability

Emergency frames are mobilized in contemporary sustainability debates, both in response to specific events and strategically. The strategic deployment of…

Postapocalyptic narratives in climate activism: their place and impact in five European cities

As climate movements are growing around the world, so too is a postapocalyptic form of environmentalism. While apocalyptic environmentalism warns…

Democratic Norms of Earth System Governance

Deliberative democracy is well-suited to the challenges of governing in the Anthropocene. But deliberative democratic practices are only suited to…

Grand Challenges of Planetary Governance: Global Order in Turbulent Times

In this timely book, leading scholar Oran Young reflects on the future of the global order. Developing new lenses through…

The international governance of gene drive organisms

Gene Drive Organisms (GDOs) are a proposed biotechnological intervention that might generate significant benefits for the conservation and sustainable use…

Taming Gaia 2.0: Earth system law in the ruptured Anthropocene.

If the Anthropocene is a rupture in planetary history, what does it mean for international environmental law? When the Earth…

Urban climate governance under the national government shadow: Evidence from Istanbul

Studies that focus on different urban governance structures, especially unitary states and semi-authoritarian regimes, are still lacking in the urban…

Do Risk Management Strategies Prevent Economic and Non-Economic Loss and Damages? Evidence from Drought Affected Households in Western India

Various transformative and curative measures have been undertaken as part of the disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation programme…

Improving flood resilience through governance strategies: Gauging the state of the art

There has been an upsurge in studies of flood risk governance (FRG): steering and decision-making by public and private actors…

Subaltern forms of knowledge are required to boost local adaptation

Evidence shows that current adaptation planning approaches are not always successful in generating actionable knowledge to guide implementation on the…

More than planning: Diversity and drivers of institutional adaptation under climate change in 96 major cities

A key challenge for effective, ongoing urban climate adaptation is to adapt institutions within urban governance. While an extensive foundation…

Finding feasible action towards urban transformations

While innovative approaches to urban transformations are increasingly proposed, scholars often overlook challenges faced by endogenous actors (e.g. urban planners)…

Scientific evidence for ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction

Ecosystems play a potentially important role in sustainably reducing the risk of disaster events worldwide. Yet, to date, there are…

Digital Social Innovation Spatial Imaginaries and Technological Resistances in Urban Governance

This book engages the reader in exploring the relationships between digital social innovation initiatives and the city. It delivers a…

Quality Assessment in Co-developing Climate Services in Norway and the Netherlands

Climate services, and research on climate services, have mutually developed over the past 20 years, with quality assessment a central…

Adaptiveness: Changing Earth System Governance

Rapid and transformational actions are ever more urgently needed to achieve a just, resilient, and ecologically sustainable global society, as…

2020 Annual Report

Our vision is to understand, imagine, and help realise just and sustainable futures by stimulating a pluralistic, vibrant and relevant…

The Economisation of Climate Change: How the G20, the OECD and the IMF Address Fossil Fuel Subsidies and Climate Finance

The effort to address climate change cuts across a wide range of non-environmental actors and policy areas, including international economic…

Environmental Policy in the EU: Actors, Institutions and Processes

The European Union (EU) has a hugely important effect on the way in which environmental policies are framed, designed and…

Marine Biodiversity Negotiations During COVID-19: A New Role for Digital Diplomacy?

Measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic have indefinitely postponed in-person formal international negotiations for a new legally binding instrument under…

Who owns marine biodiversity? Contesting the world order through the ‘common heritage of humankind’ principle

The governance of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) lacks a legal framework that would ensure the conservation…

What We Know (and Could Know) about International Environmental Agreements

Initiated in 2002, the International Environmental Agreements Data Base (IEADB) catalogs the texts, memberships, and design features of over 3,000…

Architectures of Earth System Governance Institutional Complexity and Structural Transformation

International institutions are prevalent in world politics. More than a thousand multilateral treaties are in place just to protect the…

Massive Institutional Structures in Global Governance

Global governance consists of elementary regimes that form regime complexes, which in turn give rise to what we call superclusters…

Corporate Sector Policy Innovations for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Implementation in the Global South

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are calling for developing and developed nations to strive to end inequality, promote universal access…

Multilateralism as a ‘site’ of struggle over environmental knowledge: the North-South divide

This forum piece discusses why multilateral spaces are key ‘sites’ for studying struggles over environmental knowledge and how Collaborative Event…

The Voice of Science on Marine Biodiversity Negotiations: A Systematic Literature Review

Over one hundred governments are currently negotiating a new legally binding instrument for the conservation and sustainable use of marine…

The usual suspects? Distribution of collaboration capital in marine biodiversity research

International scientific collaboration is vital for supporting global and regional measures to protect marine biodiversity in and beyond national jurisdiction.…

The Emerging Threats and Opportunities for Implementing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and Sustainable Development Goal 7: Policy Insights from sub-Saharan Africa and Malawi

Aim: Despite the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to reduce climate change vulnerability…

Principles for Enhancing Earth System Governance and Sustainable Development Through Informality

Even though the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change introduced the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) framework as a novel…

Recognize fish as food in policy discourse and development funding

The international development community is off-track from meeting targets for alleviating global malnutrition. Meanwhile, there is growing consensus across scientific…

Topic modelling the news media representation of climate change

This article investigates the presence of domestic-international linkages in the Lithuanian mass media discourse on climate change. We apply the…

Climate Ambition and Sustainable Development for a New Decade: A Catalytic Framework

This paper examines the Global Climate Action Agenda (GCAA) and discusses options to improve sub‐ and non‐state involvement in post‐2020…

Assessing state compliance with multilateral climate transparency requirements: ‘Transparency Adherence Indices’ and their research and policy implications

Transparency is increasingly central to multilateral climate governance. In this article, we undertake one of the first systematic assessments of…

Ethical choices behind quantifications of fair contributions under the Paris Agreement

The Parties to the UNFCCC and Paris Agreement agreed to act on the basis of equity to protect the climate…

Pathologies of Climate Governance. International Relations, National Politics and Human Nature

Earth's climate is in crisis. Climate governance has failed. This book diagnoses climate governance as if it were a sick…

Governing the dark side of renewable energy: A typology of global displacements

Renewable energy (RE) is critical for curbing global greenhouse gas emissions to achieve 2 to 4 degrees of global warming…

Drought and water scarcity in the UK: Social science perspectives on governance, knowledge and outreach

This book presents a social science perspective on drought and water scarcity in the UK. It puts forward a narrative…

Vulnerability of the São Paulo Macro Metropolis to Droughts and Natural Disasters: Local to Regional Climate Risk Assessments and Policy Responses

The São Paulo Macro Metropolis (SPMM) is one of the richest and most inequitable regions of the Global South and…

Data and knowledge matters: Urban adaptation planning in São Paulo, Brazil

Highlights • Cities and urban areas face a strong adaptation imperative. • Collaborative approaches are vital for meeting urban adaptation…

Norm conflicts as governance challenges for Seed Commons: Comparing cases from Germany and the Philippines

A Seed Commons approach can help to highlight the common struggle of diverse seed initiatives in the Global North and…

A Topic Network Analysis of the System Turn in the Environmental Sciences

The concept of Earth system science denotes a shift in the scientific discourse from disciplinary accounts of isolated components of…

Antacids for the Sea? Artificial Ocean Alkalinization and Climate Change

There is increasing urgency for large-scale deployment of carbon-removal approaches to help avoid passing critical climatic thresholds. Given the severe…

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands at 50

At 50, the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, 1971) has a mixed legacy. To survive and stay relevant in the Anthropocene,…

Remaking Political Institutions: Climate Change and Beyond

Institutions are failing in many areas of contemporary politics, not least of which concerns climate change. However, remedying such problems…

The future of ‘environmental’ policy in the Anthropocene: time for a paradigm shift

What is the future of ‘environmental’ policy in times of earth system transformations and the recognition of the ‘Anthropocene’ as…

The political nature of fantasy and political fantasies of nature

Within post-structuralist discourse theory, there has been an ongoing interest in fantasy and the fantasmatic logic. We propose a new…

Planetary boundaries at the intersection of Earth system law, science and governance: A state‐of‐the‐art review

First developed in Earth system science, the idea of planetary boundaries has gradually spilled over into social science research in…

Is Global Governance Fragmented, Polycentric, or Complex? the State of the Art of the Network Approach.

International institutions such as treaties and organizations shape, and are shaped by, the large web-like architecture of global governance. Yet…

What counts as climate finance? Define urgently

To resolve arguments over what funding actually flows from developed to developing nations, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate…

A political ecology perspective on resource extraction and human security in Kenya, Bolivia and Peru

This paper analyzes how the governance of non-renewable natural resources affects different dimensions of human security in local sites of…

Forgotten Values. The World Bank and Environmental Partnerships

Multi-stakeholder partnerships have become an increasingly common form of global governance. Partnerships, usually between international organizations (IOs) or state agencies…

Earth system law and the legal status of non-humans in the Anthropocene

Who belongs to communities of justice in the Anthropocene? While Western and non-Western traditions alike have typically afforded legal recognition…

Earth System Governance – Volume 4

We are delighted to present the fourth volume of Earth System Governance, the new open-access journal for all those interested…

Environmental Recourse at the Multilateral Development Banks

Global governance now provides people with recourse for harm through International Grievance Mechanisms, such as the Independent Accountability Mechanisms of…

The Making of Responsible Innovation

Science and technological innovation wield unfathomable power in the shaping of social life and the environment. Yet, the democratic control…

Postapocalyptic environmentalism: A movement for transformational climate adaptation?

As climate movements are growing around the world, so too is a postapocalyptic form of environmentalism. While apocalyptic environmentalism warns…

A New Paradigm for Social License as a Path to Marine Sustainability

Traditional marine governance can create inferior results. Management decisions customarily reflect fluctuating political priorities and formidable special-interest influence. Governments face…

Alternatives to Multilateralism: New Forms of Social and Environmental Governance

The effects of globalization on governance are complex and uncertain. As markets integrate, governments have become increasingly hesitant to enforce…

Environmental Law and Governance in the Pacific: Climate Change, Biodiversity and Communities

This volume examines environmental law and governance in the Pacific, focusing on the emerging challenges this region faces. The Pacific…

Indonesia: Human rights, persons with disabilities, and the politics of disaster displacement in post-eruption Mt. Sinabung

Indonesia: Human rights, persons with disabilities, and the politics of disaster displacement in post-eruption Mt. Sinabung. in Matthew Scott and…

Why do extreme events still kill in the São Paulo Macro Metropolis Region? Chronicle of a death foretold in the global south

This paper contributes to the study of climate change and environmental justice with a particular focus on a Global South…

Governing complexity and environmental justice: lessons from the water crisis in Metropolitan São Paulo (2013-2015)

The paper presents a discussion on the water crisis that occurred between 2013 and 2015 in the Metropolitan Region of…

The no significant harm principle and the human right to water

Access to water has been recognized as an international human right at least since 2010, when both the United Nations…

Designing policy for the long term: Agency, policy feedback and policy change

Policy feedback research faces a potential pivot point owing to recent theoretical and substantive advances. Concerted attention now spans new…

Transforming our world? Discursive representation in the negotiations on the Sustainable Development Goals

Calls to advance the democratization of sustainable development negotiations have recently proliferated. However, the participatory schemes set up by international…

Exploring the governance and implementation of sustainable development initiatives through blockchain technology

Societies at large still grapple to categorize digital space as a phenomenon. At the same time, scientists and developers are…

Governing complex societal problems: The impact of private on public regulation through technological change

When addressing complex societal problems, public regulation is increasingly complemented by private regulation. Extant literature has provided valuable insights into…

Time to Certify: Explaining Varying Efficiency of Private Regulatory Audits

Private regulatory programs, such as certification schemes, seek to control market access by providing greater certainty about products' credence attributes,…

Disaggregating public‐private governance interactions: European Union interventions in transnational private sustainability governance

Transnational private sustainability governance, such as eco‐certification, does not operate in a regulatory or jurisdictional vacuum. A public authority may…

More Sustainable Bioenergy by Making Use of Regional Alternative Biomass?

Bioenergy is a building block of the ongoing transformation toward renewables-based energy systems. Bioenergy supply chains are regionally embedded and…

Where do novelties come from? A social network analysis of Transnational Municipal Networks in global climate governance

Climate-related Transnational Municipal Networks (TMNs) have gained prominence. Scholars have discussed their effects, including their capacity to generate novelties. Yet,…

The hybrid governance of environmental transnational municipal networks: Lessons from 100 Resilient Cities

Transnational Municipal Networks (TMNs) are increasing in size, scope and number on the global arena. They reflect a tendency for…

Climate Change and Human Mobility

'Climate Change and Human Mobility’ in Shahabuddin, M (ed), Bangladesh and International Law. This book is the first-ever comprehensive analysis…

The Emerging Global Consensus on Climate Change and Human Mobility

This book examines whether a global consensus is emerging on climate change and human mobility and presents evidence of a…

The Brazilian Blue Amazon under threat: Why has the oil spill continued for so long?

In August 2019, an oil spill incident washed the coast in Brazil affecting some of the country’s most visited and…

Reframing urban governance for resilience implementation: The role of network closure and other insights from a network approach

The concept of urban resilience, particularly through a systems framework, has advanced tremendously over the past decade. Relatedly, collaborative and…

Pathways to Urban Sustainability through Individual Behaviors: The Role of Social Capital

Given the available scientific understanding regarding the environmental impacts of everyday behaviors, individuals should be both concerned and motivated to…

Assessing land use changes and livelihood outcomes of rural people in the Chittagong Hill Tracts region, Bangladesh

Land use change is a pressing concern for the livelihoods of people in tropical developing countries. Changes in land use…

Durable by Design? Policy Feedback in a Changing Climate

Following the landmark Paris agreement, policy makers are under pressure to adopt policies that rapidly deliver deep, society-wide decarbonisation. Deep…

The Boundaries of the Planetary Boundary Framework: A Critical Appraisal of Approaches to Define a “Safe Operating Space” for Humanity

In 2009, a group of 29 scholars argued that we can identify a set of “planetary boundaries” that humanity must…

Planetary justice: Prioritizing the poor in earth system governance

We are in the middle of a planetary crisis that urgently requires stronger modes of earth system governance. At the…

Mercury Stories: Understanding Sustainability through a Volatile Element

An interdisciplinary analysis of human interactions with mercury through history that sheds light on efforts to promote and achieve sustainability.…

Reforming global climate governance in an age of bullshit

There is a significant deficit of ‘ecological integrity’ in contemporary climate change governance, defined as explicit recognition of the mismatch…

Rights for Robots. Artificial Intelligence, Animal and Environmental Law.

Bringing a unique perspective to the burgeoning ethical and legal issues surrounding the presence of artificial intelligence in our daily…

Portrait of a climate city: How climate change is emerging as a risk in Bergen, Norway

Climate change is dramatically shifting the way cities interpret and live with their local climate. This paper analyses how climate…

A diagnostic tool for supporting policymaking on urban resilience

Urban resilience has become a popular notion among urban policymakers and scientists, as a way to deal with the many…

Environmental visualizations: Framing and reframing between science, policy and society

Visualizations are influential in the interaction between environmental science and policy. Research on framing in environmental visualizations (visual framing) is…

Beyond accountability: alternative rationales for transparency in global trade politics

The conventional view of transparency is that it is a critical tool to combat corruption and ensure the democratic accountability…

Transparency in global sustainability governance: to what effect?

Transparency in environmental governance is no longer an uncontroversial answer to problems of accountability and effectiveness. How to design effective…

Democratising planetary boundaries: experts, social values and deliberative risk evaluation in Earth system governance

Recent debates about the concept of planetary boundaries recall longstanding concerns about whether ecological limits are compatible with ecological democracy.…

Between environmental and ecological democracy: theory and practice at the democracy-environment nexus

Concepts of ecological and environmental democracy seek to reconcile two normative ideals: ensuring environmental sustainability while safeguarding democracy. These ideals…

Increasing the Resilience of Africa’s Food Systems to Climate Change through an Alignment of Microfinance and Renewable Energy Services: Policy Prospects and Challenges

Climate change might be considered as the greatest threat to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa…

Improving international soil governance – Analysis and recommendations

This study develops options for the German government to improve international soil governance in the short, medium and long term.…

Considering the dilemma of societal alignment: A response.

The publication of our article “Introducing the dilemma of societal alignment for inclusive and responsible research and innovation” (Ribeiro et…

EU Environmental Governance. Current and Future Challenges

This book presents an overview of the field of environmental law and policies within the European Union, from theoretical foundations…

Global Green Politics

In light of growing urgency in tackling the global environmental crisis, there is a need for new visions and strategies…

Reducing Climate Change Vulnerability in Sub-Saharan Africa Cities: Policy Prospects for Social Innovation and Microfinance

Africa might not achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) because climate change will exacerbate poverty and inequality in the region.…

Hard or Soft Governance? The EU’s Climate and Energy Policy Framework for 2030

This article investigates the stringency of EU climate and energy governance along the soft-hard continuum as a key determinant of…

Assessing the EU’s 2030 Climate and Energy Policy Framework: Incremental change toward radical transformation?

This article provides a comprehensive overview of the changes to European Union (EU) climate and energy law brought about by…

Where to begin? Defining national strategies for implementing the 2030 Agenda: the case of Switzerland

Five years after adoption of the 2030 Agenda, there is a general lack of progress in reaching its Sustainable Development…

Essential Concepts of Global Environmental Governance

Aligning global governance to the challenges of sustainability is one of the most urgent international issues to be addressed. This…

Governing the Climate-Energy Nexus. Institutional Complexity and Its Challenges to Effectiveness and Legitimacy

Combating climate change and transitioning to fossil-free energy are two central and interdependent challenges facing humanity today. Governing the nexus…

Are We Missing the Bigger Picture? An Analysis of How Science Can Contribute To an Ecosystem-Based Approach for Beach Management on the São Paulo Macrometropolis

The complexity of human-environment interactions in coastal areas represent management challenges, especially in the beach environment, important for its ecosystem…

Leaving no one behind? The influence of civil society participation on the Sustainable Development Goals

Spaces for civil society participation within intergovernmental negotiations on sustainability have multiplied since the 1992 Earth Summit. Such participatory spaces…

Australia’s Blue Re-Growth?

'The catastrophic conditions of the 2019/2020 fire season in Australia made global headlines. The ocean conditions for marine biodiversity are…

Political Perspectives on Geoengineering: Navigating Problem Definition and Institutional Fit

Geoengineering technologies are by definition only effective at scale, and so international policy development of some sort will be unavoidable.…

(Transnational) law for the Anthropocene: revisiting Jessup’s move from ‘what?’ to ‘how?’

In the Anthropocene, legal thinking is challenged to re-envision the ‘human' position vis-à-vis the ‘natural' ‘environment'. To map this challenge,…

Cities on the World Stage: The Politics of Global Urban Climate Governance

Cities are playing an ever more important role in the mitigation and adaption to climate change. This book examines the…

Earth System Governance – Volume 3

We are delighted to present the third volume of Earth System Governance, the new open-access journal for all those interested…

When international sustainability frameworks encounter domestic politics: The sustainable development goals and agri-food governance in South America

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been heralded as a landmark achievement and a major opportunity for transformative and inclusive…

Special Issue: Access and Allocation in Earth System Governance.

This Special Issue on 'Access and Allocation in Earth System Governance', edited by Prof. Joyeeta Gupta and Dr. Louis Lebel,…

Environmental Justice. Key Issues

Environmental Justice: Key Issues is the first textbook to offer a comprehensive and accessible overview of environmental justice, one of…

Hyperconnected, receptive and do-it-yourself city. An investigation into the European “imaginary” of crowdsourcing for urban governance

This paper critically explores the construction and diffusion of the socio-technical imaginary of crowdsourcing for public governance in Europe via…

The ‘fluid governance’ of urban public spaces. Insights from informal planning practices in Rome

This paper investigates the emergence of informal planning practices and their relationship with the new geometries of power and responsibility…

Towards explanations for stability and change in modes of environmental governance: A systematic approach with illustrations from the Netherlands

Studies on stability and change in modes of environmental governance often remain implicit regarding the conceptualisation, nature and causes of…

Environmental Human Rights in Earth System Governance. Democracy Beyond Democracy

Environmental rights are a category of human rights necessarily central to both democracy and effective earth system governance (any environmental-ecological-sustainable…

Deliberative Global Governance

Global institutions are afflicted by severe democratic deficits, while many of the major problems facing the world remain intractable. Against…

Ecoregionalism: Analyzing Regional Environmental Agreements and Processes

This book provides a comprehensive understanding of environmental regionalism at the international level, analyzing the concept and identifying recurring patterns…

Confident, likely, or both? The implementation of the uncertainty language framework in IPCC special reports

The uncertainty language framework used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is designed to encourage the consistent characterization…

How institutional interactions can strengthen effectiveness: The case of multi-stakeholder partnerships for renewable energy

Sustainable Development Goal 7 and the Paris Agreement reiterate the importance of a worldwide uptake of renewable energy. However, the…

Transamazonian: integrate it or lose it

This article discusses how the dictatorial government of General Emilio Garrastazu Médici used symbolic elements as the basis for the…

Policy learning in REDD+ Donor Countries: Norway, Germany and the UK

In this article Lead Faculty member Prof. Heike Schroeder discusses the following in the Introduction: 'Almost 15 years have passed…

Access and allocation in climate change adaptation

As climate change impacts become increasingly apparent, adaptation becomes increasingly urgent. Accordingly, adaptation to climate change has shifted towards the…

“Planetarity,” “Planetarism,” and the Interpersonal

In this article, Senior Research Fellow  Dr. Jeremy David Bendik-Keymer, discusses [...]!   'For reasons I have elsewhere explained, I…

2019 Annual Report

The Report includes information about: the vibrant and successful 2019 Oaxaca Conference on Earth System Governance, the first in its kind…

Selling Sustainability Short? The Private Governance of Labor and the Environment in the Coffee Sector

Can private standards bring about more sustainable production practices? This question is of interest to conscientious consumers, academics studying the…

Architectures of Earth System Governance. Institutional Complexity and Structural Transformation

International institutions are prevalent in world politics. More than a thousand multilateral treaties are in place just to protect the…

Involving Anthroponomy in the Anthropocene. On Decoloniality

This book introduces the idea of anthroponomy – the organization of humankind to support autonomous life – as a response…

Access and allocation in food governance, a decadal view 2008–2018

Achieving food security worldwide raises a number of issues with regard to the distribution of global resources. On the one…

The Brazilian renewable energy policy framework: instrument design and coherence

In the context of Brazil's rising energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, we develop a forward-looking analysis of the domestic renewable…

Leveraging Blockchain Technology for Innovative Climate Finance under the Green Climate Fund

The rapid development of digital technologies such as blockchain and distributed ledger-based systems holds transformative potential for the financial sector.…

Is Wildness Over?

Wildness was once integral to our ancestor’s lives as they struggled to survive in an unpredictable environment. Today, most of…

Nature 2000 experiences in South-East Europe: comparisons from Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina

The main research objective is to determine the impact of Europeanisation on the nature protection system in the countries of…

Reviewing the impact of sustainability certification on food security in developing countries

What is the impact of sustainability certification on food security in developing countries? This article explores the issue through a…

Bridging practices, institutions, and landscapes through a scale-based approach for research and practice: A case study of a business association in South India

There is a need for enterprises to incorporate information on the environment into decision making and to take action on…

A review of data-intensive approaches for sustainability: methodology, epistemology, normativity, and ontology

With the growth of data, data-intensive approaches for sustainability are becoming widespread and have been endorsed by various stakeholders. To…

Local narratives of change as an entry point for building urban climate resilience

Cities face increasing risks due to climate change, and many cities are actively working towards increasing their climate resilience. Climate…

Principles for knowledge co-production in sustainability research

Research practice, funding agencies and global science organizations suggest that research aimed at addressing sustainability challenges is most effective when…

The End of the Road: State Liability for Acts of UN Peacekeeping Contingents After the Dutch Supreme Court’s Judgment in Mothers of Srebrenica (2019)

This article provides an analysis of the Dutch Supreme Court judgment in the Mothers of Srebrenica case, placing it in…

The Public Participant versus the Populist Government of an Illiberal Democracy

Jure Vidmar (Ed.). European Populism and Human Rights (International Studies in Human Rights, Volume 130) 72–91. This volume focuses on…

Commodity-Centric Landscape Governance as a Double-Edged Sword: The Case of Soy and the Cerrado Working Group in Brazil

Persistent ecological and socio-economic impacts from the expansion of industrial monocultures in the tropics have raised land use sustainability to…

The role of actors in the policy design process: introducing design coalitions to explain policy output

Despite a renaissance of policy design thinking in public policy literature and a renewed interest in agency in the policy…

Is the Brazilian National Climate Change Adaptation Plan Addressing Inequality? Climate and Environmental Justice in a Global South Perspective

This article approaches the theme of climate change adaptation in Brazil and the need for interaction between an agenda of…

Swimming in their own direction: Explaining domestic variation in homegrown sustainability governance for aquaculture in Asia

Agricultural commodity production in the Global South is accompanied by a range of social and environmental problems ranging from pollution…

The global economic system and access and allocation in earth system governance

Ensuring sustainability of earth systems is intrinsically dependent on the incorporation of equity and fairness in the regimes and institutions…

Policy packaging can make food system transformation feasible

Redesigning food production and consumption is key to limiting global warming, soil erosion and biodiversity loss. Yet, transforming the food…

How can NGOs support collective action among the users of rural drinking water systems? A case study of Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) systems in Bangladesh

In this article, we link NGO-supplied drinking water infrastructure projects with collective action development approaches. Although governing local, shared drinking…

Factors Affecting Consumption of Water from a Newly Introduced Safe Drinking Water System: The Case of Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) Systems in Bangladesh

Rather than committing exclusively to one drinking water option, households in Bangladesh often use a portfolio of sources that, in…

Migration as climate adaptation? Exploring discourses amongst development actors in the Pacific Island region

This paper investigates the perspectives of a set of actors devoted to development in the Pacific on climate change, migration,…

Private Governance and Public Authority. Regulating Sustainability in a Global Economy

At a time of significant concern about the sustainability of the global economy, businesses are eager to display responsible corporate…

Research programmes in global change and sustainability research: what does coordination achieve?

Large scale research programmes and networks are an increasingly prominent feature of global change and sustainability research. They aim to…

Ten years after Copenhagen: re-imagining climate change governance in urban areas

In this review, we take stock of the last decade of research on climate change governance in urban areas since…

Planetarism: a paradigmatic alternative to internationalism

hat is a robust theoretical alternative to nationalism? For many seasoned cosmopolitan thinkers the answer is internationalism, which is generally…

The 18th Sustainable Development Goal

This article makes the case for an 18th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on animal health, welfare and rights. We have…

Global Environmental Politics

Global Environmental Politics provides a comprehensive introduction to the key concepts, theories, methods, and debates in environmental politics. The authors'…

Greening through Trade

How the environmental provisions in US preferential trade agreements affect both the environmental policies of trading partners and the effectiveness…

Political participation of businesses: A framework to understand contributions of SMEs to urban sustainability politics

Private sector actors both enable and inhibit sustainability-oriented policies at multiple scales. Yet, research on business sustainability predominantly emphasizes large…

Planetary justice: What can we learn from ethics and political philosophy?

In this paper, we attempt to contribute to understanding the concept of ‘planetary justice.’ Rather than advancing a specific philosophical…

What do researchers mean when talking about justice? An empirical review of justice narratives in global change research

The study of planetary justice is an emerging research field that explores questions of justice on a planetary scale, particularly…

A coal elimination treaty 2030: Fast tracking climate change mitigation, global health and security

This article sets out the case for an international treaty to phase out the mining and burning of coal—a Coal…

An earth system governance perspective on solar geoengineering

Solar geoengineering appears capable of reducing climate change and the associated risks. In part because it would be global in…

Discourse inertia and the governance of transboundary rivers in Asia

Changes in political, social and environmental arenas increase challenges for complex policy processes. However, areas of public policy are dominated…

Planetary Justice: A Research Framework.

In this paper we develop a conceptual framework to empirically analyse conceptualizations of ‘justice’ in the context of profound transformations…

Blue Screen Biosphere: The Absent Presence of Biodiversity in International Law

From the social contract theory of Hobbes and Locke to the United Nations Charter, the sovereign state has formed the…

The return of carbon offsetting? The discursive legitimation of new market arrangements in the Paris climate regime

The current commitments under the Paris Agreement are not enough to achieve the 1,5 °C target. Even if states comply with…

Governance for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals: How important are participation, policy coherence, reflexivity, adaptation and democratic institutions?

It is widely accepted that the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) depends on effective governance arrangements. However,…

Looking beyond justice as universal basic needs is essential to progress towards ‘safe and just operating spaces’

Taking point of departure in the ambitious framework for ‘safe and just operating spaces’ for social-ecological systems, this paper explores…

Protecting biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction: An earth system governance perspective

In September 2018, following over a decade of informal discussions, the United Nations General Assembly launched an intergovernmental conference to…

Editorial to the second volume of Earth System Governance

We are delighted to present here the second volume of Earth System Governance, the new open-access journal for all those interested…

Earth System Governance – Volume 2

We are delighted to present here the second volume of Earth System Governance, the new open-access journal for all those interested…

Agency in Earth System Governance

The modern era is facing unprecedented governance challenges in striving to achieve long-term sustainability goals and to limit human impacts…

Do Rich People Rather Than Rich Countries Bear the Greatest Responsibility for Climate Change? Yes: Rich People Ought to Behave Responsibly (Before It’s Too Late)

Contemporary Climate Change Debates is an innovative new textbook which tackles some of the difficult questions raised by climate change. For…

Environmental rights in the Asia Pacific region: taking stock and assessing impacts

Since their emergence in the 1970s, human rights relating to environmental protection have spread all over the world and continue…

Governance of Marine Geoengineering

More information about the report here

Climate Engineering under the Paris Agreement

Recent assessments of the international community’s ability to hold the increase of global average temperature to well below 2°C, while…

Governing geoengineering research for the Great Barrier Reef

Coral reefs are highly vulnerable to the impacts of rising marine temperatures and marine heatwaves. Mitigating dangerous climate change is…

The Effects of Transnational Municipal Networks on Urban Climate Politics in the Global South

In Van der Heijden, Jeroen, Harriet Bulkeley, and Chiara Certomà (Eds.). Urban Climate Politics. Agency and Empowerment. Earth System Governance…

Indonesia Law and Policy Report

Since 2017, the Raoul Wallenberg Institute has, together with academic partners, been conducting a regional thematic study on displacement in…

Deep-time organizations: Learning institutional longevity from history

The Anthropocene as a new planetary epoch has brought to the foreground the deep-time interconnections of human agency with the…

Transparency requirements under the Paris Agreement and their (un)likely impact on strengthening the ambition of nationally determined contributions (NDCs)

How will the Paris Agreement drive countries to address climate change? One expectation of the Agreement is that transparency will…

Climate Policy in Denmark, Germany, Estonia and Poland

By opening a new dialogue between scholars of public policy and those of public administration, Climate Policy in Denmark, Germany,…

Building urgent intergenerational bridges: assessing early career researcher integration in global sustainability initiatives

A double intergenerational conundrum abounds in sustainability science as young generations of researchers have relatively little influence on current strategic…

Routledge Handbook of Global Sustainability Governance

The Routledge Handbook of Global Sustainability Governance provides a state-of-the-art review of core debates and contributions that offer a more normative, critical,…

Ocean Governance amidst Climate Change: An Essay on the Future

In Climate Change at Sea: Interactions, Impacts and Governance, edited by P.G. Harris. More information about the article available here

Climate Change at Sea: Interactions, Impacts and Governance

In Climate Change at Sea: Interactions, Impacts and Governance, edited by P.G. Harris. More information about the article available here

Climate Change and Ocean Governance: Politics and Policy for Threatened Seas

Climate Change and Ocean Governance brings together authors from political science and cognate disciplines to examine the political and policy…

Climigration and the Private Sector

As the effects of climate change grow more severe, millions of people in the United States and around the world…

Between negotiations and litigation: Vanuatu’s perspective on loss and damage from climate change

This contribution explores how climate-vulnerable states can effectively use the law to force action in order to address loss and…

State Responsibility, Climate Change and Human Rights under International Law

The last decade has witnessed an increasing focus on the relationship between climate change and human rights. Several international human…

Meaningful public participation in the management of transboundary river basins

his paper analyses the conditions set by international and European water law to assure “meaningful” public participation in transboundary water management. At…

Equity across Generations in International and Domestic Water Law

Equity across Generations in International and Domestic Water Law in Cottier, Thomas, Shaheeza Lalani and Clarence Siziba (Eds.), Intergenerational Equity:…

Sustainable management of freshwater resources: Linking international water law and the Sustainable Development Goals

Ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water for all by 2030 is one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in…

Remedies for Human Rights Violations Caused by Climate Change

The right to a remedy is central to a human rights approach to climate change. However, a range of obstacles…

Managed retreat in the United States

Managed retreat—the purposeful, coordinated movement of people and assets out of harm's way—is a controversial and often overlooked adaptation tool…

The case for strategic and managed climate retreat

More information about this article here

Policy goals, partisanship and paradigmatic change in energy policy – analyzing parliamentary discourse in Germany over 30 years

The successful implementation of the Paris Agreement requires substantial energy policy change on the national level. In national energy policy-making,…

Climate Justice: The Urgent Research Agenda(s)

In A Research Agenda for Climate Justice, edited by P.G. Harris. More details about the book and the article are available…

A Cosmopolitan Agenda for Climate Justice: Embracing Non-State Actors

In A Research Agenda for Climate Justice, edited by P.G. Harris. More information about the book and the article available here

Governing Shallow Waters: SDG 6 and Water Security in São Paulo

From 2013 to 2015, Brazil faced a severe water crisis that led 1,485 out of its 5,561 municipalities to declare…

Explaining Advocacy Coalition Change with Policy Feedback

Despite the prominence of exogenous factors in theories of policy change, the precise mechanisms that link such factors to policy…

Missing the Bigger Picture: A Population-level Analysis of Transnational Private Governance Organizations Active in the Global South

This article conducts a population-level analysis of transnational private governance organizations (TPGOs) that develop standards for sustainable commodity production in…

Structure, path dependence, and adaptation: North-South imbalances in transnational private fisheries governance

Transnational private governance schemes, like other global rule-making arenas, are confronted with the challenges of North-South imbalances. Through their standards…

The instrumental power of transnational private governance: Interest representation and lobbying by private rule‐makers

While scholars have researched transnational private governance for over two decades, we still know little about some of the specific…

Transnational municipal networks: Harbingers of innovation for global adaptation governance?

Few studies have examined transnational actors involved in global adaptation governance, despite their growing influence. This paper focuses on 100…

NGOs and the Environment

In Davies, Thomas (Ed.),  Routledge Handbook of NGOs and International Relations. More details about the book and the article are…

International Climate Policy in the Post-Paris Era

The aim of this article is to assess the efficacy of the Paris Agreement to generate policies and incentivize actions…

Environmental Determinants of Chinese Development Finance in Africa

To what extent are decisions regarding Chinese investment in Africa motivated by environmental factors? A considerable body of work has…

Eviction is not a disaster

Motivation Should the process of forcibly evicting people from customary land be classified as a ‘disaster'? Some international organizations and…

A Research Agenda for Climate Justice

Climate justice is now an established area of scholarship that crosses disciplinary boundaries. However, despite the work of governments, activists…

Climate change adaptation narratives: Linking climate knowledge and future thinking

Even in countries with high capacity to adapt to climate change, when future-oriented adaptation narratives are neither explicit nor common,…

The Impact of the Economic Crisis on European Environmental Policy

The European Union (EU) has sought to establish itself as a global environmental leader but was hit by the combined…

Socio-ecological resilience and the law: Exploring the adaptive capacity of the BBNJ agreement

In search for sustainability of the oceans, the concept of resilience arises as a necessary perspective from which to analyse…

Assessing integrated sustainability research: use of social network analysis to evaluate scientific integration and transdisciplinarity in research networks

Global environmental challenges are increasingly complex and interdependent and the sentiment that sustainability requires new approaches to integrating science and…

Leakage and boosting effects in environmental governance: a framework for analysis

In an increasingly interconnected world, leakage—broadly understood as unintended displacement of impacts caused by an environmental policy intervention—has become a…

Policy Integration for Sustainable Development through Multilateral Environmental Agreements

Over the past three decades, policy integration has become a key objective for guiding and harmonizing policies for sustainable development.…

Localizing the Sustainable Development Goals: Assessing Indonesia’s Compliance towards the Global Goals

The international community has come together to pursue certain fundamental, common goals over the coming period to 2030 to make…

Focusing on Non-State Actions Instead of Non-State Actors in the Context of Sustainability Transitions

Non-state and subnational actors active in sustainability transitions have increased considerably in recent years. However, the term “non-state actors” is…

From ‘talking the talk’ to ‘walking the walk’? Multi-level global governance of the Anthropocene in Indonesia

Emerging economies such as Indonesia are among the highest greenhouse gas emitters in the world and are global environmental drivers…

REDD+ and the Reconfiguration of Public Authority in the Forest Sector: A Comparative Case Study of Indonesia and Brazil

Since the 1980s, central governments have decentralized forestry to local governments in many countries of the Global South. More recently,…

Max Weber in the tropics: How global climate politics facilitates the bureaucratization of forestry in Indonesia

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) is one of the most advanced global climate governance arrangements and we…

Sustainability Transformations: Agents and Drivers across Societies

Societal transformations are needed across the globe in light of pressing environmental issues. This need to transform is increasingly acknowledged in…

Opportunities for the Action Agenda for Nature and People

The Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework presents a window of opportunity to increase its ambition level and for improving the effectiveness…

From Paris to Beijing. Insights gained from the UNFCCC Paris Agreement for the post-2020 global biodiversity framework

Negotiations have started on a new global framework for biodiversity. In 2020, in Beijing, a new international biodiversity framework will…

Towards a Global Biodiversity Action Agenda

Non‐state and sub‐national actors (e.g. cities, regions and companies) are increasingly taking action to address biodiversity loss. They set up…

Earth System Governance – Volume 1

Welcome to Earth System Governance – the new open-access journal for all those interested in the study of institutions, political processes and…

Protecting biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction: An earth system governance perspective

In September 2018, following over a decade of informal discussions, the United Nations General Assembly launched an intergovernmental conference to…

The Earth System Governance Project as a network organization: a critical assessment after ten years

The social sciences have engaged since the late 1980s in international collaborative programmes to study questions of sustainability and global…

The Paris Agreement on Climate Change—Made in USA?

The 2015 Paris Agreement established a new logic for international climate governance: the pledge-and-review system. In 2009, the same idea…

Urban Climate Politics: Agency and Empowerment

Since the 1990s, a burgeoning literature has emerged on the politics and governance of urban climate. It is now evident…

Pathways to urban sustainability: How science can contribute to sustainable development in cities

Pressing sustainability challenges reinvigorate calls for scientific actors to strengthen their profile as change agents. Focusing on the urban context,…

Special issue: Exploring global and transnational governance of climate change adaptation

In post-Paris climate governance, the old mantra that ‘mitigation is global; adaptation is local’ (see Burton 2011, p. 481) is…

Governing borderless climate risks: moving beyond the territorial framing of adaptation

Despite the increasing relevance of cross-border flows of goods, capital and people in shaping risks and opportunities today, we still…

Effective governance of transnational adaptation initiatives

Transnational climate governance has mainly been preoccupied with climate change mitigation, both in practice and as studied in academic literature.…

Does orchestration in the Global Climate Action Agenda effectively prioritize and mobilize transnational climate adaptation action?

Climate change adaptation is increasingly seen as a question that involves globally connected vulnerabilities and impacts which necessitate transboundary action…

The Governance of Solar Geoengineering. Managing Climate Change in the Anthropocene.

Climate change is among the world’s most important problems, and solutions based on emission cuts or adapting to new climates…

Studying urban climate governance: Where to begin, what to look for, and how to make a meaningful contribution to scholarship and practice

Cities are key in climate mitigation and adaptation, and they have developed into sites of innovative urban climate governance that…

Seeding the clouds to reach the sky: Will China’s weather modification practices support the legitimization of climate engineering?

In this Perspective, we discuss whether in times of quickly proceeding global environmental change, radical global interventions like “climate engineering”…

Unveiling the security concerns of low carbon development: climate security analysis of the undesirable and unintended effects of mitigation and adaptation

In debates of climate action, low carbon development has been widely advocated as an opportunity arising from climate change. This…

Gene Drives and the International Biodiversity Regime.

Gene drives are genetic modifications designed for rapidly diffusing traits throughout a target population. They are currently being proposed as…

Timescape of disaster risk governance in contemporary Japan: Neither state of normalcy nor constancy in regulation

Although the relationship between public policies and disaster risk is apparent, its nature is not so evident. The dominant model,…

New directions in earth system governance research

The Earth System Governance project is a global research alliance that explores novel, effective governance mechanisms to cope with the…

A rights foundation for ecological democracy

What would it mean to conceptualize some environmental relationships as bundles of rights, rather than as a good as generally…

Deliberation and the Promise of a Deeply Democratic Sustainability Transition

Ecological economics arose as a normative transdiscipline aiming to generate knowledge and tools to help transition the economy toward a…

NAFTA 2.0: What are the implications for environmental governance?

This Perspective examines some of the most significant changes in the renegotiated North America Free Trade Agreement and the implications…

Earth system law: The juridical dimensions of earth system governance

While the focus of earth system governance is on the human-social aspects of Earth system changes, law has played a…

The Evolution of the UNFCCC

This article takes stock of the evolution of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) through the prism…

Constructing diagnostic trees: A stepwise approach to institutional design

The idea of institutional diagnostics has sparked considerable interest over the last twenty years, especially among those seeking to assess…

Editorial to the inaugural issue of ‘Earth System Governance’

Welcome to Earth System Governance – the new open-access journal for all those interested in the study of institutions, political…

Rich man’s solution?

Numerous recent studies project that ‘climate engineering’ technologies might need to play a major role in the future. Such technologies…

Europe’s approach to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals

The 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development offers a unique framework for transformative pathways towards sustainability worldwide. The 2030 Agenda also…

Anthropocene Encounters: New Directions in Green Political Thinking

Coined barely two decades ago, the Anthropocene has become one of the most influential and controversial terms in environmental policy.…

Institutional Drift in International Biotechnology Regulation

Digitalization, genome editing and synthetic biology are presently leading to fundamental changes in the field of biotechnology. At the same…

Global Environmental Governance and the Accountability Trap

An examination of whether accountability mechanisms in global environmental governance that focus on monitoring and enforcement necessarily lead to better…

Bridging knowledge divides: The case of indigenous ontologies of territoriality and REDD+

Highlights New relationships are needed in order to co-produce knowledge to tackle global challenges. Sharing knowledge across different ontologies can…

The Politics and Governance of Negative Emissions Technologies

It is well known that the Paris Agreement aims to keep climate change – perhaps the greatest current challenge to…

Global Environmental Governance and Small States: Architectures and Agency in the Caribbean

Global Environmental Governance gives the perspectives of small states on some of the most important issues of the anthropocene, from…

Cambridge Elements – Earth System Governance (Flyer)

This exciting book series provides concise but authoritative studies of the governance of complex socio-ecological systems, written by world-leading scholars.…

Opinion: Flood Risk Reduction – Structural Measures and Diverse Strategies

Floods continue to hit many countries, both less developed and industrialized, bringing human suffering and immense economic damage (see floodobservatory. colorado.edu/). Hurricane Florence…

Earth System Governance Science and Implementation Plan

The Earth System Governance Science and Implementation Plan sets out the agenda for the next decade of earth system governance research. It…

Social-Ecological Outcomes of Agricultural Intensification

Land-use intensification in agrarian landscapes is seen as a key strategy to simultaneously feed humanity and use ecosystems sustainably, but…

Climate Actions: Transformative Mechanisms for Social Mobilisation

Climate change remains a challenge that needs to be addressed at its core, particularly the rapid reduction of anthropogenic greenhouse…

Accelerating Sustainable Energy Transition(s) in Developing Countries: The Challenges of Climate Change and Sustainable Development

Accelerating sustainable energy transitions away from carbon-based fuel sources needs to be high on the agendas of developing countries. It…

Governing the Termination Problem in Solar Radiation Management

Technologies for Solar Radiation Management (SRM) could limit global warming by manipulating the Earth’s radiation balance. A major objection to…

Science for Change: A Survey on the Normative and Political Dimensions of Global Sustainability Research

Global change and sustainability research increasingly focusses on informing and shaping societal transformations towards more sustainable futures. Doing so, researchers…

The Politics of Fossil Fuel Subsidies and Their Reform

Fossil fuel subsidies strain public budgets, and contribute to climate change and local air pollution. Despite widespread agreement among experts…

Visual Cross-Platform Analysis: Digital Methods to Research Social Media Images

Analysis of social media using digital methods is a flourishing approach. However, the relatively easy availability of data collected via…

The Green State and Industrial Decarbonisation

The large share of carbon emitted by energy-intensive industries in the extraction and processing of basic materials must be limited…

Solar Geoengineering and Democracy

Some scientists suggest that it might be possible to reflect a portion of incoming sunlight back into space to reduce…

Do Eco-Labels Prevent Deforestation? Lessons from Non-State Market Driven Governance in the Soy, Palm Oil, and Cocoa Sectors

In countries marked by the growing uptake of non-state market driven (NSMD) governance for agricultural commodities (i.e., eco-labels and certification…

The Discord between International and Australian Approaches to Pesticide Regulation and the Precautionary Principle

This article is premised on three specific and interrelated notions that (a) the reduction of the use of pesticides will…

Foreign Aid Evaluation and International Financial Mobilization for Climate Change Adaptation

Promises of North-South financial transfers play a significant role in international climate negotiations. In particular, financial assistance to help developing…

The Emerging Accountability Regimes for the Sustainable Development Goals and Policy Integration: Friend or Foe?

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the full Agenda 2030 in which they are embedded are aspirational and intended to…

The Global Environmental Politics of Food

This special issue seeks to expand our understanding of the complex interlinkages between the politics and governance of the global…

Forest Certification: the Challenge of Measuring Impacts

This article begins by situating forest certification within a broader set of forest governance institutions and innovations. It then examines…

Ecological Reflexivity: Characterising an Elusive Virtue for Governance in the Anthropocene

Reflexivity – the capacity of an agent, structure or process to change in the light of reflection on its performance…

The Mechanism to Facilitate Implementation and Promote Compliance with the Paris Agreement: Design Options

The Project for Advancing Climate Transparency (PACT) consortium supports the design and development of robust and effective transparency and accountability…

Research and Engagement Plan for the Water-Energy-Food Knowledge-Action Network

The Development Team of the Water-Energy-Food Nexus Knowledge-Action Network issued the Research and Engagement Plan in March 2018 to shape and guide…

Evaluating the Impacts of Global Environmental Assessments

There are currently no widely accepted procedures for comparing the performance of global environmental assessments (GEAs) and this may be a barrier…

Towards an Effective Mechanism to Facilitate Implementation and Promote Compliance under the Paris Agreement

The article explores key aspects of the modalities and procedures of the Committee to facilitate implementation and promote compliance under…

Governing Climate Change: Polycentricity in Action?

Climate change governance is in a state of enormous flux. New and more dynamic forms of governing are appearing around…

Meeting Report: 2017 Early Career Researcher Workshop “Developing a Career in Earth System Governance: Opening Up Science”

Report from the early career researchers workshop “Developing a Career in Earth System Governance: Opening Up Science”, held prior to…

Cooperation, Competence and Coherence: The Role of Regional Oceans Governance in The South West Pacific for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction

UNGA Resolution 69/292 requires that the development of an international legally binding instrument (ILBI) for the conservation and sustainable use…

From “Spoiler” to “Bridging Nation”: The Reshaping of India’s Climate Diplomacy

India has been central to the international climate order since the beginning of the climate change negotiations in 1992, especially…

De facto governance: how authoritative assessments construct climate engineering as an object of governance

Analyses of climate engineering (CE) governance have accelerated in the last decade. A key claim is that CE remains a…

Non‐State Actors in Hybrid Global Climate Governance: Justice, Legitimacy, and Effectiveness in a Post‐Paris Era

In this article, we outline the multifaceted roles played by non‐state actors within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate…

Silent Transformation to 1.5°C — with China’s Encumbered Leading

The US has voluntarily ceded global leadership on climate action by withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement. China now leads…

The Politics of Decarbonization and the Catalytic Impact of Subnational Climate Experiments

The Paris Agreement of 2015 marks a formal shift in global climate change governance from an international legal regime that…

Anticipating Climate Futures in a 1.5 °C Era: the Link between Foresight and Governance

The Paris Agreement's aspirational 1.5 degree temperature target has given further impetus to efforts to imagine (and seek to govern)…

Special Issue: Achieving 1.5 °C and Climate Justice

Editorial introduction The Paris Agreement (PA) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) aims at holding the…

Governance Challenges of Marine Renewable Energy Developments in the U.S. – Creating the Enabling Conditions for Successful Project Development

Increasingly, marine renewable energy developments are viewed as an opportunity to meet climate change obligations, with the added benefit of…

European Union External Environmental Policy: Rules, Regulation and Governance Beyond Borders

This book considers the environmental policies that the EU employs outside its borders. Using a systematic and coherent approach to…

Carbon Governance Arrangements and the Nation-State: The Reconfiguration of Public Authority in Developing Countries

Several scholars concerned with global policy-making have recently pointed to a reconfiguration of authority in the area of climate politics.…

The Evolution of Carbon Markets: Design and Diffusion

Carbon markets are developing and expanding around the world, but how and to what extent is their design shaped by…

Managing Genetic Resources: International Regimes, Problem Structures, National Implementation

Numerous regimes regulating access to genetic resources and the sharing of the benefits arising out of their utilization have sprung up…

Innovative Participatory Research Methods in Earth System Governance

Current environmental problems are often extremely complex, uncertain, and affecting multiple actors and institutions across sectors and scales. Earth System…

The Impact of the US Retreat from the Paris Agreement: Kyoto Revisited?

The United States’ decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement (pending possible re-engagement under different terms) may have significant ramifications…

Political Feasibility of 1.5°C Societal Transformations: the Role of Social Justice

Constraining global climate change to 1.5°C is commonly understood to require urgent and deep societal transformations. Yet such transformations are…

Environmental Impacts and Causes of Conflict in the Horn of Africa: A review

The Horn of Africa region stands out amongst the planet's territories that are most volatile and vulnerable to armed violence.…

Imaginary Politics: Climate Change and Making the Future

Climate change places major transformational demands on modern societies. Transformations require the capacity to collectively envision and meaningfully debate realistic…

Pop-cultural Mobilization: Deploying Game of Thrones to Shift US Climate Change Politics

Over the last two decades, scholars have developed an increasingly sophisticated range of approaches to studying the complex relationship between…

Governance barriers to sustainable energy transitions – Assessing Ireland’s capacity towards marine energy futures

Marine energies (ME), including offshore hydcrocarbons along with marine renewable energies (MRE), such as offshore wind, wave and tidal energy,…

Mainstreaming Climate Adaptation: Taking Stock about “What Works” from Empirical Research Worldwide

Adaptation to a changing climate is unavoidable. Mainstreaming climate adaptation objectives into existing policies, as opposed to developing dedicated adaptation…

Global Environmental Politics: Problems, Policy and Practice

Concern about humanity's impact on the planet has never been greater, but what are the drivers of environmental change? This…

The Sustainable Development Goals: A Case Study

The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs are an ambitious step towards sustainable development, taking a much broader view of sustainability…

Brazil and Climate Change: Beyond the Amazon

Climate change is increasingly a part of the human experience. As the problem worsens, the cooperative dilemma that the issue…

Regional Environmental Cooperation in South America: Processes, Drivers and Constraints

This book examines cooperation on shared environmental concerns across national boundaries in the Southern Cone region of South America, specifically…

Voluntary Global Business Initiatives and the International Climate Negotiations: A Case Study of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol

The past few years have witnessed the emergence of a plethora of transnational climate governance experiments. They have been developed…

The Reconfiguration of Authority in Global Climate Governance

Much of the literature in the field of international relations is currently concerned with the changing patterns of authority in…

The Representativeness of Global Deliberation: A Critical Assessment of Civil Society Consultations for Sustainable Development

During the negotiations of the Sustainable Development Goals, the United Nations consulted worldwide nearly ten million people for their views. Such proliferating megaconsultations are often uncritically accepted as a remedy for an assumed democratic deficit of intergovernmental institutions. We argue, however, that the potential of civil society consultations to democratize global governance is constrained by the limited…

Report of SynLink SDGs workshop – Research and Action Framework for Synergistic Scientific and Institutional Linkages between the SDG Targets

Report of SynLink SDGs workshop - Research and Action Framework for Synergistic Scientific and Institutional Linkages between the SDG Targets, held March 5th…

Global Climate Adaptation Governance: Why is it not Legally Binding?

In the last decade, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has moved from a strong focus on mitigation…

The Epistemic Authority of Solution-Oriented Global Environmental Assessments

The effectiveness and influence of solutions oriented global environmental assessments (SOAs) rests on their legitimacy. Based on the GEA literature…

Inclusive Development: a Multi-Disciplinary Approach

The term inclusive development has emerged in the 21st century and has been adopted in a series of scholarly and…

Global Governance by Goal-Setting: the Novel Approach of the UN Sustainable Development Goals

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations present a novel approach to global governance where goal-setting features…

Global Governance: Impressions from Complex Adaptive Systems Theory

Notwithstanding the territoriality of sovereign states and other claims to private property, Earth’s biosphere is a public space. Its protection…

Democracy and Climate Change

Democracy and Climate Change explores the various ways in which democratic principles can lead governments to respond differently to climate change.…

Implementing the “Sustainable Development Goals”: Towards Addressing Three Key Governance Challenges—Collective Action, Trade-Offs, and Accountability

Realising the aspirations of the “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs) to reduce inequality, limit ecological damage, and secure resilient livelihoods is…

The Authority of Science in Sustainability Governance: A Structured Comparison of Six Science Institutions Engaged with the Sustainable Development Goals

Over the past decades, numerous science institutions have evolved around issues of global sustainability, aiming to inform and shape societal…

Mindmade Politics: The Cognitive Roots of International Climate Governance

Mindmade Politics takes a novel, interdisciplinary approach to understanding the complex and contentious dynamics of global climate politics. Manjana Milkoreit…

The Meanings of Life for Non-State Actors in Climate Politics

This article is part of Environmental Politics Special Issue: Non-State Actors in the New Landscape of International Climate Cooperation (Environmental…

Orchestrating Experimentation in Non-State Environmental Commitments

This article is part of Environmental Politics Special Issue: Non-State Actors in the New Landscape of International Climate Cooperation (Environmental…

The ‘Black Box’ Problem of Orchestration: How to Evaluate the Performance of the Lima-Paris Action Agenda

This article is part of Environmental Politics Special Issue: Non-State Actors in the New Landscape of International Climate Cooperation (Environmental…

The Orchestration of Global Urban Climate Governance: Conducting Power in the Post-Paris Climate Regime

This article is part of Environmental Politics Special Issue: Non-State Actors in the New Landscape of International Climate Cooperation (Environmental…

Institutional Complexity and Private Authority in Global Climate Governance: the Cases of Climate Engineering, REDD+ and Short-Lived Climate Pollutants

This article is part of Environmental Politics Special Issue: Non-State Actors in the New Landscape of International Climate Cooperation (Environmental…

Non-State Actors in Global Climate Governance: From Copenhagen to Paris and Beyond

This article is part of Environmental Politics Special Issue: Non-State Actors in the New Landscape of International Climate Cooperation (Environmental…

The Global Emergence of Constitutional Environmental Rights

Over the past 40 years, countries throughout the world have similarly adopted human rights related to environmental governance and protection…

Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia: Progress, Challenges, and Issues

This book is a unique, transdisciplinary summary of the state of the art of disaster risk reduction (DRR) in Indonesia.…

Governing through Goals: Sustainable Development Goals as Governance Innovation

In September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Sustainable Development Goals as part of the 2030 Agenda for…

The Global Governance of Genetic Resources: Institutional Change and Structural Constraints

Multi-institutional governance architectures are increasingly common in world politics, yet how do they evolve over time? This book develops a…

The Democratic Legitimacy of Orchestration: the UNFCCC, Non-state Actors and Transnational Climate Governance

This article is part of Environmental Politics Special Issue: Non-State Actors in the New Landscape of International Climate Cooperation (Environmental…

Pluralism in Search of Sustainability: Ethics, Knowledge and Methdology in Sustainability Science

Sustainability Science is an emerging, transdisciplinary academic field that aims to help build a sustainable global society by drawing on…

Alternative Perspectives on Sustainability: Indigenous Knowledge and Methodologies

Indigenous knowledge (IK) is now recognized as being critical to the development of effective, equitable and meaningful strategies to address…

Enabling Transformative Research: Lessons from the Eastern and Southern Africa Partnership Programme (1999-2015)

World leaders at the 2015 United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in New York have re- confirmed the relevance of sustainability…

Sustainability Science in the Light of Urban Planning

The purpose of this article is to demonstrate that, as part of its mission, sustainability science can change the way planners…

Governing Complex Systems. Social Capital for the Anthropocene

The onset of the Anthropocene, an era in which human actions have become major drivers of change on a planetary…

Dirty Gold. How Activism Transformed the Jewelry Industry

Gold mining can be a dirty business. It creates immense amounts of toxic materials that are difficult to dispose of.…

The Taskforce on Conceptual Foundations of Earth System Governance: Sustainability Science

We are pleased to introduce the second special issue from Challenges in Sustainability, this time as a part of the…

Valuing the Contributions of Nonstate and Subnational Actors to Climate Governance

Nonstate and subnational climate governance activities are proliferating. Alongside them are databases and registries that attempt to calculate their contributions…

Accountability Challenges in the Transnational Regime Complex for Climate Change

This article discusses challenges to accountability in the context of transnational climate governance. It argues that the emergence of a…

Institutional Accountability of Nonstate Actors in the UNFCCC: Exit, Voice, and Loyalty

How are nonstate actors within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held to account? In this article,…

Judicialization of Environmental Policy and the Crisis of Democratic Accountability

A growing global trend of judicializing environmental policy has been received with optimism, and in the context of democracies in…

Introduction: The Politics of Environmental Accountability

This special issue of Review of Policy Research centers on the question of accountability in environmental governance. The idea for…

A New Season For Planning: Urban Gardening As Informal Planning In Rome

This article investigates the relationship between urban gardening and planning by building upon the results of field research on gardening…

Postenvironmentalism: A Material Semiotic Perspective on Living Spaces

This book presents a vibrant study of the rise, decline, and transformation of environmental thinking. The author’s analysis moves from…

The Double Democratic Deficit in Climate Policy-making by the EU Commission

Early European Union (EU) gender research focused primarily on policy areas that were directly relevant to women, e.g., regarding their…

Going Rogue? Scenarios for Unilateral Geoengineering

The unilateral use of technologies for counteracting global warming is regarded as a threat by decision-makers, academics and the wider…

Effective and Geographically Balanced? An Output-Based Assessment of Non-State Climate Actions

At COP21 in Paris, governments reiterated the importance of ‘non-Party’ contributions, placing big bets that the efforts of cities, regions,…

Conflicting Climate Change Frames in a Global Field of Media Discourse

Reducing global emissions will require a global cosmopolitan culture built from detailed attention to conflicting national climate change frames (interpretations)…

Ambiguity, a new way of thinking about responses to climate change

Diversity, interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity are now recognized as vital to tackling wicked problems such as those presented by a changing…

Governing by targets: reductio ad unum and evolution of the two-degree climate target

Targets are widely employed in environmental governance. In this paper, we investigate the construction of the 2 °C climate target, one…

Deliberation as a catalyst for reflexive environmental governance

Ecological or ecosystemic reflexivity involves the capacity of social-ecological systems to reconfigure themselves in response to reflection on their performance.…

Exploring the governance and politics of transformations towards sustainability

The notion of ‘transformations towards sustainability’ takes an increasingly central position in global sustainability research and policy discourse in recent…

A Shift in the Agenda for China and India: Geopolitical Implications for Future Climate Governance

2015 has marked a shift in stand for the world’s largest and third largest (in aggregate terms) greenhouse gas (GHG)…

The Paris Agreement: Destined to Succeed or Doomed to Fail?

Is the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change destined to succeed or doomed to fail? If all the pledges embedded…

The transformative potential of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

This Special Feature on “Making the SDGs Succeed” suggests that the SDGs are an opportunity to permanently transform the nature…

The Forum, the System, and the Polity: Three Varieties of Democratic Theory

The theory of deliberative democracy is here furthered in terms of three images that locate its essence in respectively a…

Read all about it!? Public accountability, fragmented global climate governance and the media

The way that the media reports and comments on key events in the fragmented global climate governance landscape is one…

Exploring the agency of Africa in climate change negotiations: the case of REDD+

Read a related blog-post by the authors at the ACTS blog Emerging climate change regimes, such as the mechanism for reducing…

Breaking Out of the Green House: Indian Leadership in Times of Environmental Change

The 2009 Copenhagen summit was a watershed moment in the history of climate change negotiations, especially from an Indian perspective.…

New Zealand kiwifruit growers’ vulnerability to climate and other stressors

Commercial cultivation of kiwifruit in New Zealand is concentrated in a relatively small area of the North Island. Cultivation is…

Strategies for Rapid Climate Mitigation: Wartime mobilisation as a model for action?

To keep the global average temperature from rising further than 2°C, emissions must peak soon and then fall steeply.This book…

Reimagining Climate Change

Responding to climate change has become an industry. Governments, corporations, activist groups and others now devote billions of dollars to…

Managing fragmentation in global environmental governance: the REDD+ Partnership as bridge organization

This article analyzes the increasing institutional and organizational complexity and fragmentation surrounding the international financing mechanism REDD+ (reducing emissions from…

Policy Brief: Expert Support for Implementing the SDGs

Implementing the SDGs requires reliance on expert advice. The nature of the sustainability challenge requires a new form of expert…

Ocean governance: strengthening the legal framework for conservation of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction

Marine ecosystems are a rich source of biodiversity, and healthy oceans are integral to the well-being of the ecosystem. Marine…

Cross-Sectoral Strategies in Global Sustainability Governance: Towards a Nexus Approach

The recent shift from the Millennium Development Goals to the much broader Sustainable Development Goals has given further impetus to…

Managing Adaptation: International Donors’ Influence on International River Basin Organizations in Southern Africa

Today, many of the world’s river and lake basins are threatened by environmental problems such as change in river flow,…

Democratizing Climate Governance

Climate change presents a large, complex and seemingly intractable set of problems that are unprecedented in their scope and severity.…

Self-Differentiation of Countries’ Responsibilities. Addressing Climate Change through Intended Nationally Determined Contributions

As a result of the United Nations (UN) climate negotiations in Warsaw in 2013, all countries were invited to submit…

New Earth Politics: Essays from the Anthropocene

Humanity’s collective impact on the Earth is vast. The rate and scale of human-driven environmental destruction is quickly outstripping our…

Policies and Practices for Climate-Smart Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Comparative Assessment of Challenges and Opportunities across 15 Countries

Climate change is already a reality. The latest assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows that global…

Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Governance after the Nagoya Protocol: Architecture and Actors

On 26 and 27 September 2011 the Institute for European Studies (IES) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB) and the…

Accountability in Global Environmental Governance – Workshop Report

Report of the third AGEG workshop, held as part of an international collaboration of leading scholars in the sub‐field of…

Environmental Politics and Governance in the Anthropocene: Institutions and Legitimacy in a Complex World

The term Anthropocene denotes a new geological epoch characterized by the unprecedented impact of human activities on the Earth’s ecosystems.…

Down to Earth: Contextualizing the Anthropocene

The ‘Anthropocene’ is now being used as a conceptual frame by different communities and in a variety of contexts to…

The evolving role of agriculture in climate change negotiations: Progress and players

This Info Note summarizes the findings of a study, coordinated by the Earth System Governance Foundation, on the substantive and…

National Delegations to UNFCCC Conferences of the Parties: Who Participates?

Understanding which ministries represent their countries at the annual United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conferences of the…

Power in a Warming World: The New Global Politics of Climate Change and the Remaking of Environmental Inequality

After nearly a quarter century of international negotiations on climate change, we stand at a crossroads. A new set of…

Governance of Global Environmental Change – Towards a multidisciplinary discussion in tertiary environmental education in the former USSR and Mongolia

This report describes, evaluates, and reflects upon the activities of the Regional Seminar for Excellence in Teaching (ReSET) Project “Governance…

European Climate Leadership in Question. Policies toward China and India

The European Union has long portrayed itself as an international leader on climate change. In this book, the first systematic…

‘Transformations towards sustainability’. Emerging approaches, critical reflections, and a research agenda

Over the last two decades researchers have come to understand much about the global challenges confronting human society (e.g. climate…

Adoption of renewable energy technologies in oil-rich countries: Explaining policy variation in the Gulf Cooperation Council states

Highlights We observe leaders and laggards among Gulf Cooperation Council states in renewable energy adoption Variation indicators are share of…

Depoliticised and technocratic? Normativity and the politics of transformative adaptation

Dominant notions of adaptation to climate change are coming under increased scrutiny for their technocratic implications and depoliticising tendencies. Considering…

Why resilience is unappealing to social science: Theoretical and empirical investigations of the scientific use of resilience

Resilience is often promoted as a boundary concept to integrate the social and natural dimensions of sustainability. However, it is…

Consensus and Global Environmental Governance: Deliberative Democracy in Nature’s Regime

In this book, Walter Baber and Robert Bartlett explore the practical and conceptual implications of a new approach to international…

Proposal for a Global Framework for Climate Action to Engage Non- State and Subnational Stakeholders in the Future Climate Regime

This briefing paper proposes a Global Framework for Climate Action (GFCA), a comprehensive and collaborative programme to build advantageous linkages…

Governance for Urban Sustainability and Resilience: Responding to Climate Change and the Relevance of the Built Environment

Cities, and the built environment more broadly, are key in the global response to climate change. This groundbreaking book seeks…

Earth System Governance Project

Project Chair Professor Frank Biermann provides insights into the Earth System Governance Project’s current activities, including the broadening of its…

Stakeholder visions for biodiversity conservation in developing countries: An analysis of interview responses from COP 11

The 2014 Conference of the Parties (COP 12) for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will be a crucial meeting…

Governance and Urban Resilience in Africa: Lessons from START’s GEC Scoping Workshops

The global environmental change (GEC)-cities nexus has been one of START’s primary thematic focus areas for knowledge development in recent…

Class and Climate Change in Post-Reform India

A revised version of this paper has been published as: Michael, K., & Vakulabharanam, V. (2015). Class and climate change…

Essential Concepts of Global Environmental Governance

Aligning global governance to the challenges of sustainability is one of the most urgent environmental issues to be addressed. This…

Earth System Challenges and a Multi-layered Approach for the Sustainable Development Goals

The International Workshop on Governance 'of' and 'for' Sustainable Development Goals, held 1 February 2014, in New York, USA, resulted…

Realpolitik and Reform at Rio+20: The Politics of Reforming the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

This research aims to explore the barriers and opportunities to change in the form and mandate of United Nations Environment…

Governance in the Anthropocene: Towards Planetary Stewardship

Frank Biermann, chair of the Earth System Governance research alliance, gave a plenary presentation in the United Nations General Assembly on…

Special Issue: Sustainable Development in a Globalized World

In this special issue of the Journal of Environment and Development, we present results from the research project Globalisation Informed…

International River Basin Organization (RBO) Database

The International RBO Database provides detailed institutional design data for 121 RBOs in more than 110 internationally shared watercourses. It allows…

Ocean Governance in the Anthropocene

We humans once thought the Earth was flat. Little did we know that the oceans extended far beyond the horizon,…

Transdisciplinary Research on Environmental Governance: A View from the Trenches

A revised version of this Working Paper has been published as: Katherine Mattor, Michele Betsill, Ch’aska Huayhuaca, Heidi Huber-Stearns, Theresa…

Green Pluralism: Lessons for Improved Environmental Governance in the 21st Century

In the last generation, the frequency and magnitude of environmental degradation has been unprecedented. Partly as a result, environmental problems…

Who Governs Internationally Shared Watercourses? Clearing the Muddy Waters of International River Basin Organizations

Institutions that have been set up by riparian states to internationally govern shared water resources – international River Basin Organizations…

Water in the Anthropocene: Post-conference report on the Earth System Governance special session

From 21-25 May 2013, the Global Water System Project hosted an international conference on the global dimensions of water system…

Improving Global Environmental Governance: Best Practices for Architecture and Agency

The experience of environmental governance is approached in Improving Global Environmental Governance from the unique perspective of actor configuration and embedded networks…

Juristic Democracy: A Deliberative Common Law Strategy for Earth System Governance

International law is constantly in search of legitimacy, has been relatively ineffective, and, like international environmental governance, is plagued by…

Strengthening the Transnational Regime Complex for Climate Change

The inadequacies of the inter-state institutions and negotiating processes central to international climate policy create a pressing need for innovative…

Curtain Down and Nothing Settled. Global Sustainability Governance after the ‘Rio+20’ Earth Summit

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, held in June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, was probably the largest event…

Connect the Dots: Managing the Fragmentation of Global Climate Governance

The debate about post-2012 global climate governance has been framed largely by proponents and opponents of the policymaking process established…

Global Environmental Governance Reconsidered

The notion of global governance is widely studied in academia and increasingly relevant to politics and policy making. Yet many…

Great expectations: Understanding why the UN climate talks seem to fail

Every year, the UN climate negotiations seem to fail the test of saving the global climate in the public eye. The…

Greening the United Nations Charter. World Politics in the Anthropocene

A constitutional turn is needed to bring the UN system in line with the urgent needs of planetary stewardship and…

Ideas for a Sustainable Development Outlook

The UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability recently recommended a Global Sustainable Development Outlook (SD-Outlook) in addition to other…

Environmental Migration in Asia and the Pacific. Could We Hang Out Sometime?

A revised version of this working paper has been published as: Mayer, Benoît. 2012 (forthcoming). Environmental Migration in the Asia-Pacific Region: Could We…

Transforming governance and institutions for global sustainability: key insights from the Earth System Governance Project

The current institutional framework for sustainable development is by far not strong enough to bring about the swift transformative progress…

Evaluating the quality of global governance: A theoretical and analytical approach

Global governance, central to international rule making, is rapidly evolving; thus, there is a need for a way to evaluate…

Governance and Management – Belarusian, Russian and Ukrainian definitions of the terminology

Belarusian, Russian and Ukrainian definitions of the terminology offered by participants of summer school “Governance of Global Environmental Change”, Pskov…

Time to act: Understanding earth system governance and the crisis of modernity

Despite the frequent calls for action, decisions and agreements made at successive international conferences, the levels of socio-environmental unsustainability have…

The Green Climate Fund and the Future of Environmental Governance

The process of designing the Green Climate Fund (GCF) will reshape the global architecture of climate change financing over the…

Democracy and Accountability in Earth System Governance: Why Does Administrative Law Matter?

This paper aims to briefly illustrate some early findings of an ongoing research project on procedural democracy in earth system…

An Action Theory of Adaptation to Climate Change

A revised version of this working paper has been published as: Eisenack, Klaus and Rebecca Stecker. 2011. A Framework for…

Networking for climate change: agency in the context of renewable energy governance in India

Climate change has disastrous impacts in the developing world and confronts countries like India with immense challenges. The dilemma of…

Networking for Climate Change. Agency in the Context of Renewable Energy Governance in India

A revised version of this working paper has been published as: Benecke, Elisabeth. 2011. Networking for climate change: agency in…

Democracy and Earth System Governance

A revised version of this working paper has been published as: Dryzek, John S. and Hayley Stevenson. 2011. Global democracy…

Bibliographies on the Analytical Themes of Earth System Governance

The selected bibliographies are compiled by Tanja Abendschein (Jacobs University and University of Bremen, Germany) in August 2008.

From Government to Governance? New Governance for Water and Biodiversity in Enlarged EU

The book is a result of interdisciplinary research conducted under the GoverNat project. It explores evolution of environmental governance in…

Earth System Governance Brochure

Hardcopies of the Earth System Governance Brochure can be requested from the International Project Office. Download the brochure [pdf]

Managers of Global Change. The Influence of International Environmental Bureaucracies

International bureaucracies - highly visible, far-reaching actors of global governance in areas that range from finance to the environment -…

Earth System Governance: People, Places and the Planet. Science and Implementation Plan of the Earth System Governance Project

Download the science plan in English, Japanese or Spanish [PDF] In Humans now influence all biological and physical systems of the planet.…

Decarbonising Economies

Based on an interdisciplinary investigation of future visions, scenarios, and case-studies of low carbon innovation taking place across economic domains,…

When international sustainability frameworks encounter domestic politics: The sustainable development goals and agri-food governance in South America

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been heralded as a landmark achievement and a major opportunity for transformative and inclusive…

The Copenhagen Turn in Global Climate Governance and the Contentious History of Differentiation in International Law

The 2009 Copenhagen Accord marked a significant shift in global climate governance which has been substantially adopted in the 2015…

Sustainable development goals and inclusive development

Achieving sustainable development has been hampered by trade-offs in favour of economic growth over social well-being and ecological viability, which…

Crowdsourcing global governance: sustainable development goals, civil society, and the pursuit of democratic legitimacy

To what extent can crowdsourcing help members of civil society overcome the democratic deficit in global environmental governance? In this…

Regime Complexes, Critical Actors and Institutional Layering

While regime complexes, sets of overlapping institutions governing a common issue area, are frequently characterised by stable interinstitutional divisions of…

The Politics of Accountability in Networked Urban Climate Governance

Cities are increasingly seen as essential components of the global response to climate change: setting targets, taking action, and rendering…

Accountability and Representation: Nonstate Actors in UN Climate Diplomacy

Observer organizations in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are clustered into nine constituency groups. Each constituency…

The Analytic Utility (and Practical Pitfalls) of Accountability

This forum provides commentary on five accountability articles in this issue. In response to those pieces, it advances the argument…

Accountability in Global Environmental Governance: A Meaningful Tool for Action?

Global environmental governance (GEG) is characterized by fragmentation, duplication, dispersed authority, and weak regulations. The gap between the need for…

Special Section: Accountability in Global Environmental Governance

Global environmental governance (GEG) is characterized by fragmentation, duplication, dispersed authority, and weak regulations. The gap between the need for…

New Science for Global Sustainability? The Institutionalisation of Knowledge Co-Production in Future Earth

In the context of complex and unprecedented issues of global change, calls for new modes of knowledge production that are…

Follow-up and Review of the Sustainable Development Goals: Alignment vs. Internalization

Follow-up and review arrangements will play a critical role in ensuring that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are effectively implemented,…

The Nexus between International Law and the Sustainable Development Goals

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets did not emerge from, and were not inserted into, a normative…

Justice and Conservation: The Need to Incorporate Recognition

In light of the Aichi target to manage protected areas equitably by 2020, we ask how the conservation sector should…

Access to and allocation of ecosystem services in Malaysia’s Pulau Kukup Ramsar Site

This paper explores how the Ramsar Convention, a key multilateral environmental agreement for the world's wetlands, influences the allocation and…

From goodwill to good deals: FELDA land resettlement scheme and the ascendancy of the landless poor in Malaysia

Land resettlement schemes are commonly used in the developing countries to leverage poor people’s access to land for shelter, food…

Dealing with Uncertainties in Fresh Water Supply: Experiences in the Netherlands

Developing fresh water supply strategies for the long term needs to take into account the fact that the future is…

Sustainability: Politics and Governance

The chapter gives an overview of global sustainability policy and politics. It is shown how international policy making on sustainable…

Sustainable Global Governance: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Institutions

The growth of global governance—in terms of the proliferation of rules, laws, and institutional forms as well as their interactions—is…

Sense-making for anticipatory adaptation to heavy snowstorms in urban areas

This paper takes a case of Xavier snowstorm of March 15–16, 2013 in two Belarusian cities of Minsk and Mahilioŭ,…

Harnessing Company Climate Action Beyond Paris

The inability of governments to steer the global community towards a safe de-carbonization pathway has left an ‘ambition gap’ between…

Korea as Green Middle Power: Green Growth Strategic Action in the Field of Global Environmental Governance

In the field of global environmental governance South Korea stands out. Since 2005 it has been the initiator and central…

Transboundary Water Politics in the Developing World

This book examines the political economy that governs the management of international transboundary river basins in the developing world. These…

The Role of Principles for Allocating Governance Levels in the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development

The global deliberations on sustainable development took another step in their more than 20-year history at the United Nations Conference…

The Legitimation of Global Energy Governance: A Normative Exploration

Global energy governance has very limited legitimacy in the eyes of most governments. Although the concept has been starting to…

Tracing Drivers of Global Environmental Change along the Governance Scale: Methodological Challenges and Possibilities

Institutional drivers from local, national, regional and global levels, in combination, influence individual and collective decisions and behaviours that lead…

Norms, Rules and Sustainable Planning: Who Said What About Norms

This chapter consists of a literature review of who said what about norms at the international level. It explores what…

Gouvernance Environnementale Régionale

Cette contribution vise à présenter de manière synthétique et systématique l’état de l’art dans le domaine de la gouvernance environnementale…

Transformative Participation in Agrobiodiversity Governance: Making the Case for an Environmental Justice Approach

This paper makes the case for an environmental justice approach to the practice and study of participation and effectiveness in…

Climate Migration and Security – Securitisation as a Strategy in Climate Change Politics

Climate migration, as an image of people moving due to sea-level rise and increased drought, has been presented as one…

Earth System Governance in Africa: knowledge and capacity needs

Traditional approaches for understanding environmental governance — such as environmental policy analysis or natural resources management — do not adequately…

Decarbonization in the European Union. Internal Policies and External Strategies

In October 2009, the European Union (EU) agreed to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by between 80 and 95 per…

Fresh water goes global

Water management is a central responsibility of civil society. Major questions persist regarding practice, policy, and the underlying evidence and…

Rethinking the Green State. Environmental governance towards climate and sustainability transitions

This innovative book is one of the first to conduct a systematic comprehensive analysis of the ideals and practices of…

Bypassing the ‘ratification straitjacket’: reviewing US legal participation in a climate agreement

The issue of US ratification of international environmental treaties is a recurring obstacle for environmental multilateralism, including the climate regime.…

Acting on Climate Finance Pledges: Inter-Agency Dynamics and Relationships with Aid in Contributor States

Developed countries have relied heavily on aid budgets to fulfill their pledges to boost funding for addressing climate change in…

Environmental Governance through Partnerships. A Discourse Theoretical Study

Transnational partnerships have become mainstream across levels and issues of environmental governance, following their endorsement by the UN in 2002.…

Which Direction for International Environmental Law?

An enduring challenge to international environmental law is to facilitate the resolution of environmental problems faster than they are being…

Reforming Law and Economy for a Sustainable Earth: Critical Thought for Turbulent Times

Few concerns preoccupy contemporary progressive thought as much as the issue of how to achieve a sustainable human society. The…

Comparing Access and Benefit-sharing in Europe

The concept of access and benefit-sharing (ABS) grew out of the emergence of the global governance of genetic resources during…

Fair and Equitable Negotiations? African Influence and the International Access and Benefit-Sharing Regime

In 2010, parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) adopted the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and…

Theorising Global Environmental Governance: Key Findings and Future Questions

Global environmental governance in the Anthropocene is fundamentally different from older conceptions of environmental policy-making and sustainable development. Environmental problem-solving…

Developing next-generation climate change scholars: the DISCCRS experience

Addressing climate change successfully will require an interdisciplinary network of climate change scholars who can communicate effectively with scholars from…

Technology Is Not Enough: Climate Change, Population, Affluence, and Consumption

Reducing human emissions of carbon dioxide by 80% by 2100 requires more than technological innovation. Historical rates of emissions decline…

Oran Young and international institutions

Current understandings of global environmental governance owe much to the numerous theoretical, empirical, and methodological contributions of Oran Young. Over…

MRV in the 2015 Climate Agreement: Promoting Compliance Through Transparency and the Participation of NGOs

The adoption of the Cancun Agreements constitutes a remarkable shift in the promotion of state compliance within the climate change…

Secretariat Influence on Overlap Management Politics in North America: NAFTA and the Commission for Environmental Cooperation

This paper examines how overlap between trade and environmental issues are managed under the North American Free Trade Agreement, and…

Technology Transfer Institutions in Global Climate Governance: Equity Principles and Market Realities

Technology transfer to developing countries has been identified as essential to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.…

Writing the Fine Print: A Regional Insurance Scheme for Climate Change Adaptation in the Pacific

Proposals to form an insurance mechanism to support Small Island Developing States' adaptation to climate change were first raised in…

Environmental justice and conceptions of the green economy

Green economy has become one of the most fashionable terms in global environmental public policy discussions and forums. Despite this…

Prospects of environmental governance in addressing sustainability challenges of seawater desalination industry in the Arabian Gulf

The hyper-arid climate of the Arabian Gulf makes it an excessively water-deficient region. Ironically, the Gulf States count among the…

Ending the Double Burden of Malnutrition: Addressing the Food and Health Nexus in the Sustainable Development Goals

The International Workshop on Governance 'of' and 'for' Sustainable Development Goals, held 1 February 2014, in New York, USA, resulted in…

Science and Climate Change Diplomacy: Cognitive Limits and the Need to Reinvent Science Communication

In a time of multiplying international problems that require scientific input, a well-functioning science-diplomacy interface is vital for the success…

Crowdsourcing urban sustainability. Data, people and technologies in participatory governance

The aim of this paper is to prefigure the future of urban sustainability governance by implementing crowdsourcing-based solutions for governance…

Institutions for the Anthropocene: Governance in a Changing Earth System

The unusually stable Earth system of the Holocene epoch of the past 10,000 years, in which human civilization arose, is…

Global Environmental Governance, Technology And Politics. The Anthropocene Gap

We live on an increasingly human-dominated planet. Our impact on the Earth has become so huge that researchers now suggest…

Special Issue: Innovations in Climate Policy: The Politics of Invention, Diffusion and Evaluation

A special issue comprising ten new papers (four of them Gold ‘Open Access’) explore the governance of climate change from…

Mapping the narrative positions of new political groups under the UNFCCC

Since 2009, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) regime has seen the emergence of several new political…

Special Issue: Legal pluralism

As the Millennium Development Goals are being replaced by Sustainable Development Goals, and we move towards a world that tries…

Fluid Governance: Scalar Politics in the South African Waterscape

This thesis offers a critical analysis of the scaling of water governance in South Africa and its implications for water…

International Cooperative Initiatives in Global Climate Governance: Raising the Ambition Level or Delegitimizing the UNFCCC?

To close the gap between existing country pledges and the necessary ambition level to limit anthropogenic climate change to not…

Post-Treaty Politics: Secretariat Influence in Global Environmental Governance

Secretariats—the administrative arms of international treaties—would seem simply to do the bidding of member states. And yet, Sikina Jinnah argues…

Earth System Governance: World Politics in the Anthropocene

Humans are no longer spectators who need to adapt to their natural environment. Our impact on the earth has caused…

Addressing the Global Sustainability Challenge: The Potential and Pitfalls of Private Governance from the Perspective of Human Capabilities

Contemporary global politics is characterized by an increasing trend toward experimental forms of governance, with an emphasis on private governance.…

Integrated and Participatory Analysis of Water Governance Regimes: The Case of the Costa Rican Dry Tropics

We present a comprehensive analysis of water governance in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Methods included interviews, workshops, and participatory processes. The…

The Extraterritorial Dimensions of Biofuel Policies and the Politics of Scale: Live and Let Die?

Despite criticism, global biofuel production continues to rise, using primarily food crops. Between 2001 and 2012 it increased nearly six-fold,…

Sustainable Development Goals and Inclusive Development

The International Workshop on Governance 'of' and 'for' Sustainable Development Goals, held 1 February 2014, in New York, USA, resulted in…

Transparency in Global Environmental Governance: Critical Perspectives

Transparency—openness, secured through greater availability of information—is increasingly seen as part of the solution to a complex array of economic,…

Governance scenarios for addressing water conflicts and climate change impacts

Scenarios that portray alternative governance regimes may help support positive change in regions that face persistent water problems. Here, we…

Coherent Governance, the UN and the SDGs

The International Workshop on Governance 'of' and 'for' Sustainable Development Goals, held 1 February 2014, in New York, USA, resulted…

Governing access and allocation in the Anthropocene

In just the last few centuries of the Earth's 4.5 plus billion year history humans have interfered with the Earth's…

The High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development: Orchestration by Default and Design

The High-Level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF) is a central element in the emerging governance architecture for sustainable development.…

Sustainability Appraisal of Water Governance Regimes: The Case of Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Sustainability appraisals produce evidence for how well water governance regimes operate and where problems exist. This evidence is particularly relevant…

Accountability in Global Environmental Governance – Workshop Report

This report is the outcome of the Accountability in Global Environmental Governance Workshop on March 25, 2014, that sought to…

Integrating Governance into the Sustainable Development Goals

The International Workshop on Governance 'of' and 'for' Sustainable Development Goals, held 1 February 2014, in New York, USA, resulted…

Theme issue: Embedding an Ecosystems Approach? The Utilisation of Ecological Knowledges in Decision Making

The concept of ecosystem services is increasingly being promoted as a means better to protect ecological systems through more informed…

Ideas on Governance ‘of’ and ‘for’ Sustainable Development Goals

This summary captures the main outcomes of the International Workshop on Governance 'of' and 'for' Sustainable Development Goals, held 1 February…

Theme issue: Novel Multisector Networks and Entrepreneurship in Urban Climate Governance

The papers in this theme issue seek to advance our understanding of the roles of networks and partnerships in the…

Special Issue: Beyond Carbon: Enabling Justice and Equity in REDD+ Across Levels of Governance

The global nature of climate change and the globalization of environmental governance have highlighted the challenges of enabling justice and…

Theme issue: Governing Sustainability: Rio 2012 and the Road Beyond

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, more widely known as ‘Rio+20’, was a significant global political event, but it…

The History of Global Climate Governance

What has happened globally on the climate change issue? How have countries' positions differed over time, and why? How are…

The Anthropocene: A governance perspective

The classification of a new epoch in planetary history as the ‘Anthropocene’ is fundamentally changing the way we understand our…

Report on the ICYESS session “Uncertainties in the context of Earth system governance”

The conference session Uncertainties in the context of Earth System governance at the Interdisciplinary Conference of Young Earth System Scientists…

Governing Knowledge Through START and the Expansion of Global Environmental Change Research

The SysTem for Analysis, Research, and Training (START) project was launched in 1992 as an international science project that sought…

The Micro Foundations of Policy Diffusion Toward Complex Global Governance: An Analysis of the Transnational Carbon Emission Trading Network

Greenhouse gas emissions trading (ET) systems have become the centerpiece of climate change policy at multiple scales, unexpectedly largely outside…

Global Water Governance: Challenges and Future Scope

One specific challenge for global governance is the issue of water resources. Are water challenges a global challenge, and as…

‘Glocal’ water governance: a multi-level challenge in the anthropocene

The water crisis is a crisis of governance. A literature review reveals that this crisis concerns definitional issues, issues of…

Insights from Global Environmental Governance

This collection of essays brings together scholars from various disciplines, based on three continents, with different theoretical and methodological interests, but all…

The Politics and Institutions of Global Energy Governance

From climate change over shale gas to the race for the Arctic, energy makes headlines in international politics almost daily.…

Going beyond two degrees? The risks and opportunities of alternative options

Since the mid-1990s, the aim of keeping climate change within 2 °C has become firmly entrenched in policy discourses. In the…

A question of fit: Reflections on boundaries, organizations and social-ecological systems

Although there is acknowledgment that the complexity of social-ecological systems governance demands representation from diverse perspectives, there is little agreement…

Governing Costa Rica’s Water Resources

In Costa Rica, a country globally recognized for the success of its environmental protection efforts, the sustainable and effective governance…

International Environmental Law as a Complex Adaptive System

Complex adaptive systems are a special kind of self-organizing system with emergent properties and adaptive capacity in response to changing…

Long-Term Governance for Social-Ecological Change

The book discusses how to tackle long-term social and ecological problems by using different environmental governance approaches to creating sustainable…

Managing Institutional Complexity and Fragmentation: The Nagoya Protocol and the Global Governance of Genetic Resources

This article explores the impact of the Nagoya Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity on the complex of international…

Fragmented International Governance of Arctic Offshore Oil: Governance Challenges and Institutional Improvement

The governance architecture in the Arctic region is subject to broad public and academic debate. Existing governance arrangements are not…

Legitimacy in an Era of Fragmentation: The Case of Global Climate Governance

Studies grounded in regime theory have examined the effectiveness of “minilateral” climate change forums that have emerged outside of the…