Transforming governance and institutions for global sustainability

Key insights from the Earth System Governance Project

Frank Biermann, Kenneth Abbott, Steinar Andresen, Karin Bäckstrand, Steven Bernstein, Michele M. Betsill, Harriet Bulkeley, Benjamin Cashore, Jennifer Clapp, Carl Folke, Aarti Gupta, Joyeeta Gupta, Peter M. Haas, Andrew Jordan, Norichika Kanie, Tatiana Kluvánková-Oravská, Louis Lebel, Diana Liverman, James Meadowcroft, Ronald B. Mitchell & 12 others Peter Newell, Sebastian Oberthür, Lennart Olsson, Philipp Pattberg, Roberto Sánchez-Rodríguez, Heike Schroeder, Arild Underdal, Susana Camargo Vieira, Coleen Vogel, Oran R. Young, Andrea Brock, Ruben Zondervan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

74 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The current institutional framework for sustainable development is by far not strong enough to bring about the swift transformative progress that is needed. This article contends that incrementalism-the main approach since the 1972 Stockholm Conference-will not suffice to bring about societal change at the level and speed needed to mitigate and adapt to earth system transformation. Instead, the article argues that transformative structural change in global governance is needed, and that the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro must turn into a major stepping stone for a much stronger institutional framework for sustainable development. The article details core areas where urgent action is required. The article is based on an extensive social science assessment conducted by 32 members of the lead faculty, scientific steering committee, and other affiliates of the Earth System Governance Project. This Project is a ten-year research initiative under the auspices of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP), which is sponsored by the International Council for Science (ICSU), the International Social Science Council (ISSC), and the United Nations University (UNU).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-60
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2012

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sustainable development
institutional framework
sustainability
governance
United Nations
UNO
Science Council
social science
global governance
structural change
environmental change
science
project
scientific committee
programme
speed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

Transforming governance and institutions for global sustainability : Key insights from the Earth System Governance Project. / Biermann, Frank; Abbott, Kenneth; Andresen, Steinar; Bäckstrand, Karin; Bernstein, Steven; Betsill, Michele M.; Bulkeley, Harriet; Cashore, Benjamin; Clapp, Jennifer; Folke, Carl; Gupta, Aarti; Gupta, Joyeeta; Haas, Peter M.; Jordan, Andrew; Kanie, Norichika; Kluvánková-Oravská, Tatiana; Lebel, Louis; Liverman, Diana; Meadowcroft, James; Mitchell, Ronald B.; Newell, Peter; Oberthür, Sebastian; Olsson, Lennart; Pattberg, Philipp; Sánchez-Rodríguez, Roberto; Schroeder, Heike; Underdal, Arild; Vieira, Susana Camargo; Vogel, Coleen; Young, Oran R.; Brock, Andrea; Zondervan, Ruben.

In: Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Vol. 4, No. 1, 02.2012, p. 51-60.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Biermann, F, Abbott, K, Andresen, S, Bäckstrand, K, Bernstein, S, Betsill, MM, Bulkeley, H, Cashore, B, Clapp, J, Folke, C, Gupta, A, Gupta, J, Haas, PM, Jordan, A, Kanie, N, Kluvánková-Oravská, T, Lebel, L, Liverman, D, Meadowcroft, J, Mitchell, RB, Newell, P, Oberthür, S, Olsson, L, Pattberg, P, Sánchez-Rodríguez, R, Schroeder, H, Underdal, A, Vieira, SC, Vogel, C, Young, OR, Brock, A & Zondervan, R 2012, 'Transforming governance and institutions for global sustainability: Key insights from the Earth System Governance Project', Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 51-60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2012.01.014
Biermann, Frank ; Abbott, Kenneth ; Andresen, Steinar ; Bäckstrand, Karin ; Bernstein, Steven ; Betsill, Michele M. ; Bulkeley, Harriet ; Cashore, Benjamin ; Clapp, Jennifer ; Folke, Carl ; Gupta, Aarti ; Gupta, Joyeeta ; Haas, Peter M. ; Jordan, Andrew ; Kanie, Norichika ; Kluvánková-Oravská, Tatiana ; Lebel, Louis ; Liverman, Diana ; Meadowcroft, James ; Mitchell, Ronald B. ; Newell, Peter ; Oberthür, Sebastian ; Olsson, Lennart ; Pattberg, Philipp ; Sánchez-Rodríguez, Roberto ; Schroeder, Heike ; Underdal, Arild ; Vieira, Susana Camargo ; Vogel, Coleen ; Young, Oran R. ; Brock, Andrea ; Zondervan, Ruben. / Transforming governance and institutions for global sustainability : Key insights from the Earth System Governance Project. In: Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability. 2012 ; Vol. 4, No. 1. pp. 51-60.
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