Governing the global commons: the ‘planetary boundaries’ approach
Keywords:planetary boundaries, global commons governance, environmental policies and laws, fiduciary obligations, territorial sovereignty
This article offers some ideas about a system of governance which reflects the reality of planetary boundaries (Rockström et al., 2009; Steffen et al., 2015). The goal of living safely within the boundaries of our planet cannot be achieved by relying on traditional forms of governance based on the concept of sovereign nation states. States, driven by national interest, have been resistant to accepting responsibility for areas beyond national jurisdiction known as the global commons (Ostrom, 1990). The focus for governing the global commons – the polar regions, oceans, atmosphere, outer space – needs to shift from states to Earth as a whole, evoking what might be called ‘Earth governance’.
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