The planetary commons: A new paradigm for safeguarding Earth-regulating systems in the Anthropocene

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  • Johan Rockström
  • Louis Kotzé
  • Svetlana Milutinovic
  • Frank Biermann
  • Victor Brovkin
  • Jonathan F. Donges
  • Jonas Ebbesson
  • Duncan French
  • Joyeeta Gupta
  • Rakhyun Kim
  • Timothy Lenton
  • Dominic Lenzi
  • Nebojsa Nakicenovic
  • Barbara Neumann
  • Fabian Schuppert
  • Ricarda Winkelmann
  • Klaus Bosselmann
  • Carl Folke
  • Wolfgang Lucht
  • David Schlosberg
  • Will Steffen
The Anthropocene signifies the start of a no-analogue trajectory of the Earth system that is fundamentally different
from the Holocene. This new trajectory is characterized by
rising risks of triggering irreversible and unmanageable
shifts in Earth system functioning. We urgently need a
new global approach to safeguard critical Earth system
regulating functions more effectively and comprehensively.
The global commons framework is the closest example of
an existing approach with the aim of governing biophysical
systems on Earth upon which the world collectively
depends. Derived during stable Holocene conditions, the
global commons framework must now evolve in the light of
new Anthropocene dynamics. This requires a fundamental
shift from a focus only on governing shared resources
beyond national jurisdiction, to one that secures critical
functions of the Earth system irrespective of national
boundaries. We propose a new framework—the planetary
commons—which differs from the global commons framework by including not only globally shared geographic
regions but also critical biophysical systems that regulate
the resilience and state, and therefore livability, on Earth.
The new planetary commons should articulate and create
comprehensive stewardship obligations through Earth
system governance aimed at restoring and strengthening
planetary resilience and justice.
Translated title of the contributionDe planetære fælleder: et nyt paradigme for at sikre jordregulerende systemer i den antropocæne epoke
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2301531121
Issue number5
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2024

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - Anthropocene, Earth System Governance, Global Commons, International Law, Planetary Boundaries

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