Earth Governance

Earth Governance

Trusteeship of the Global Commons

New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series

Klaus Bosselmann

The predicament of uncontrolled growth in a finite world puts the global commons - such as oceans, atmosphere, and biosphere - at risk. So far, states have not found the means to protect, what essentially, is outside their jurisdiction. However the jurisprudence of international law has matured to a point that makes global governance beyond state-negotiated compromises both possible and desirable. This book makes an ambitious, yet well-researched and convincing case, for trusteeship governance. It shows how the United Nations together with states can draw from their own traditions to develop new, effective regimes of trusteeship for the global commons.

Chapter 2: Framing earth governance

Klaus Bosselmann

Subjects: environment, environmental governance and regulation, environmental law, environmental politics and policy, law - academic, environmental law, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy


The destiny of humans cannot be separated from the destiny of earth. Thomas Berry. Democracy and freedom are more than values to be treasured; they may well be essential to survival. Noam Chomsky. The idea of earth governance responds to shortcomings of the current system of international environmental law and governance. Its main purpose is to help establish a culture of democracy powerful enough to achieve sustainable societies. This involves governance structures that are capable of serving this purpose. Such structures would feature governance rules able to overcome the democratic and ecological deficit discussed so far.

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