publication

Transforming governance and institutions for a planet under pressure. Revitalizing the institutional framework for global sustainability: Key Insights from social science research

Lead author: Biermann, Frank. Contributing authors: Kenneth Abbott, Steinar Andresen, Karin Bäckstrand, Steven Bernstein, Michele M. Betsill, Harriet Bulkeley, Benjamin Cashore, Jennifer Clapp, Carl Folke, Aarti Gupta, Joyeeta Gupta, Peter M. Haas, Andrew Jordan, Norichika Kanie, Tatiana Kluvánková-Oravská, Louis Lebel, Diana Liverman, James Meadowcroft, Ronald B. Mitchell, Peter Newell, Sebastian Oberthür, Lennart Olsson, Philipp Pattberg, Roberto Sánchez-Rodríguez, Heike Schroeder, Arild Underdal, Susana Camargo Vieira, Coleen Vogel, Oran R. Young. Assessment Managers: Andrea Brock, and Ruben Zondervan. • 27-09-2011
Planet Under Pressure Policy Brief, 3 2011
Transforming governance and institutions for a planet under pressure. Revitalizing the institutional framework for global sustainability: Key Insights from social science research

This is one of nine policy briefs produced by the scientific community to inform the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). These briefs were commissioned by the international conference Planet Under Pressure: New Knowledge Towards Solutions (www.planetunderpressure2012.net).

Global environmental protection has featured high on the international political agenda since the United Nations (UN) Conference on the Human Environment in 1972. Yet, despite more than 900 environmental treaties coming into force over the past 40 years, human-induced environmental degradation is reaching unprecedented levels. Human societies must change course and steer away from critical tipping points in the earth system that might lead to rapid and irreversible change, while ensuring sustainable livelihoods for all. This requires a fundamental transformation of existing practices. If we are to achieve more sustainable development in the future, we have to reorient and restructure our national and international institutions and governance mechanisms. Incrementalism will not suffice to bring about societal change at the level required; the world needs structural change in global governance. The 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development must become a major stepping stone towards introducing a stronger institutional framework for sustainable development. We urge decision makers to seize this opportunity to develop a clear and ambitious roadmap for institutional change and bring about fundamental reform of current sustainability governance within the next decade. This policy brief outlines the core areas needing most urgent action. 

Tags: accountability,adaptiveness,agency,allocation & access,architecture,Earth System Governance Project,Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEA),Policy Assessment on the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development,proposals for reform,public-private partnerships,reform of UNEP,sustainable development,United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD),United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20 Earth Summit)