Prepared by the researcher : Dr. Zeina Mohamed Ahmed – PhD in International Commercial Law and Arbitration – University of Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Democratic Arabic Center
Journal of Afro-Asian Studies : Nineteenth Issue – November 2023
A Periodical International Journal published by the “Democratic Arab Center” Germany – Berlin
:To download the pdf version of the research papers, please visit the following link
The Sustainable Development Goals enshrine a new way of understanding and undertaking development in a holistic manner. No longer is it solely a measure of how much people earn or how long they live, but about how they experience life. It takes into account a tremendous range of factors, from the plastic floating in their oceans, through mental well-being and happiness, to their ownership of a mobile phone. Moreover, the new definition puts the emphasis on the long-term. Development that cannot provide for future generations economically, environmentally, and socially is not true development.
The planet is in the midst of an environmental emergency, and the world is only tinkering at the margins. Humanity’s addiction to fossil fuels and voracious appetite for natural resources are accelerating climate change and degrading ecosystems on land and sea, threatening the integrity of the biosphere and thus the survival of our own species. Given these risks, it is shocking that the multilateral system has failed to respond more forcefully. Belatedly, the United States, the EU, the UK, and some other advanced market democracies have adopted more aggressive greenhouse gas reduction targets, but their ability to deliver is suspect, while critical emerging economies like China and India have resisted accelerating their own decarbonization. Even more concerning, existing multilateral commitments, including on climate change, fail to address the other half of the planet’s ecological crisis: collapsing biodiversity, which the leaders of the Group of 7 nations rightly call an “equally important existential threat.” 
Preserving the natural world on which our well-being depends requires more than lofty rhetoric from national leaders. It demands bold breakthroughs in international environmental cooperation that can bridge the chasm between a global political system divided into nearly 200 independent countries and a unitary biosphere that obeys no sovereign boundaries. It is time to govern the world as if the Earth mattered. 
What is needed is a paradigm shift in foreign policy and international relations, which one might term “planetary politics.”  The cornerstone of this new worldview is ecological realism: recognition that the integrity of the biosphere is the fundamental precondition for all that humanity hopes to accomplish. This new mindset will require governments to expand traditional definitions of national interest and international security, broaden conventional conceptions of sovereign obligations, and adopt a new approach to measuring national wealth that accounts for and values Earth’s natural capital assets.
To put this new mindset into action, the world’s governments must overhaul and strengthen the institutional and legal foundations of international environmental cooperation. Priorities include investing in nature-based solutions to climate change; bringing global trade rules into line with ecological imperatives; adopting a new approach to development that is truly sustainable; strengthening the Convention on Biological Diversity; finalizing agreement on the High Seas Biodiversity Treaty; and negotiating a comprehensive Global Pact for the Environment.
SUMMARY FOR POLICYMAKERS
Climate change is just part of the global environmental emergency. Biological diversity is also imperilled. Human activity is driving unprecedented declines in ecosystems and species, threatening the health and integrity of the biosphere and the innumerable benefits that we obtain from the natural world.
Unfortunately, existing national policies and multilateral institutions have proven totally inadequate to address this potentially existential risk. Restoring balance between humanity and nature requires a paradigm shift toward “planetary politics,” accompanied by dramatic innovations in global environmental governance.
A NEW MINDSET
The point of departure for planetary politics is recognition that everything humanity seeks to accomplish ultimately depends on the stability and health of a unitary biosphere that does not recognize national borders. Three priorities for governments flow from this:
Designate the survival and stewardship of the biosphere as a core national interest and a central objective of international cooperation.
Bring traditional concepts of sovereignty into line with the imperatives of planetary ecological stewardship, including by endorsing a new state responsibility to protect the global environment.
Work with corporations and communities to account for, invest in, and safeguard natural capital and ecosystem services, rather than taking them for granted and exploiting them to exhaustion.
NEW MULTILATERAL INSTITUTIONS AND POLICIES
Planetary politics will require strengthening existing and creating new multilateral institutions and treaties to address the crisis of the biosphere—and backing these commitments with adequate resources.
Expand nature-based climate solutions. Given the intertwined natures of the climate and biodiversity crises, parties to the UNFCCC should redouble their efforts to capture and permanently store CO2 in natural carbon sinks.
Make international trade nature friendly. To make global trade “green,” nations should adopt border carbon adjustments to penalize polluters, eliminate nature-destroying subsidies, liberalize trade in environmental goods, and crack down on illicit trafficking in wild species.
Make global development truly sustainable. To reconcile the needs of humanity and the viability of nature, the international community must rein in destructive extractive industries and redesign and mobilize development financing to encourage environmental stewardship.
Strengthen the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). At their Fifteenth Conference of Parties in December 2022, parties to the CBD must ratify a robust new global biodiversity framework, including a credible commitment to protect 30 percent of Earth’s land and ocean by 2030.
Bring the United States into the CBD. Joe Biden’s administration should promptly seek the U.S. Senate’s advice and consent for ratification of the CBD, which is fully consistent with U.S. national sovereignty and U.S. national interests.
Conclude a High Seas Biodiversity Treaty. UN member states should restart and conclude negotiations on this convention, to establish multilateral rules governing the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.
Negotiate a Global Pact for the Environment. Finally, the nations of the world should promptly begin negotiations on a comprehensive global convention to bring coherence to the fragmented landscape of international environmental organizations, treaties, and law.
THE HUMAN ASSAULT ON NATURE: WELCOME TO THE ANTHROPOCENE
So great is our species’ collective impact on the planet that some scientists advocate designating an entirely new era, the Anthropocene (the Age of Humans), to describe the current moment.  Since 1950, globalization has delivered remarkable progress, including an eleven-fold increase in global gross domestic product (GDP), adjusted for inflation.  Many average citizens now enjoy material comforts unimaginable to monarchs in previous centuries.  Such abundance has come at grievous cost to nature, however, fundamentally altering our relationship to the living planet. .  The global population has more than tripled from 2.5 billion to 8 billion over the same seventy years, and our ravenous material desires are jeopardizing the innumerable benefits we obtain from healthy ecosystems, ranging from breathable air and fertile soils to clean water and pollinated crops. Humanity has become the most powerful force shaping the Earth system. . 
“Humanity has become the most powerful force shaping the Earth system.”
The scope and costs of this assault can no longer be ignored. They have been documented in a succession of stark reports from the United Nations and private groups like the World Wide Fund for Nature. .  On nearly all indicators, the trajectory is dismal. Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions would need to drop 45 percent by 2030 to hold the rise in average global temperatures to 1.5°C, the objective to which nations agreed in Paris in 2015. Instead, they are on track to decline only 3 percent by the end of the decade, portending a future of searing heat, raging wildfires, acidifying oceans, violent storms, rising seas, and mass migration. .  In the latest Emissions Gap Report, issued shortly before the twenty-seventh Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) admitted that there is “no credible pathway to 1.5°C in place.” Indeed, current policies point to a world where temperatures rise 2.8°C, and national commitments (even if fulfilled) would only reduce this to 2.4–2.6°C. .  “We had our chance to make incremental changes, but that time is over,” warns Inger Andersen, UNEP’s executive director. “Only a root-and-branch transformation of our economies and societies can save us from accelerating climate disaster.” . 
Climate change, moreover, is just part of Earth’s environmental plight. Biological diversity is also imperilled, and global warming is not even the primary culprit.  Around the world, ecosystems and species are at risk of collapsing as humans degrade and despoil landscapes and seascapes, dump pollutants and toxins into the environment, introduce invasive species, and harvest timber, fish, wildlife, and other living resources unsustainably.
The figures are sobering.  Three-quarters of the planet’s ice-free terrestrial surfaces and two-thirds of its marine environment have already been severely altered, including by agriculture, ranching, logging, mining, urbanization, and industrial fishing.  Ninety-three percent of global fisheries are overexploited or exploited to capacity, and fleets have reduced large ocean fish to 10 percent of their preindustrial numbers.  Every year, the world discharges another 300–400 million tons of toxic sludge, heavy metals, and industrial poisons directly into the water, as well as 14.3 million tons of plastic into the oceans.  Globally, fertilizer runoff has created more than 400 hypoxic (low oxygen) coastal “dead zones,” with a combined area larger than that of the United Kingdom. 
One million animal and plant species face near-term extinction.  Since 1970, populations of wild vertebrates have declined by 69 percent and insects by 45 percent worldwide, and 3 billion birds have vanished from North America.  Humans and our domesticates now account for 96 percent of the planet’s mammalian biomass; 70 percent of all birds are poultry.  Half of all tropical forests have been destroyed since 1960, and each year the world loses another 3.36 million hectares (8.3 million acres)—an area the size of Belgium.  Globally, more than 85 percent of wetlands and 35 percent of mangroves have already been lost. 
There have been five mass extinctions in Earth’s 4.5-billion-year history. Mounting evidence suggests we are on the cusp of a sixth.  This risk is particularly acute in the world’s oceans, which are warmer than they have been in recorded history and 30 percent more acidic than they were just 200 years ago—the fastest change in ocean chemistry in 50 million years.  Half of all coral reefs have disappeared since 1990, and 90 percent of those that remain are likely to die by 2050 as average sea temperatures exceed those ever recorded.  Acidic waters, meanwhile, threaten the survival of zooplankton and invertebrates and the collapse of entire food chains. Without swift and dramatic steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, two Princeton University scientists warned earlier this year, the loss of ocean biodiversity over the next three centuries could rival the Permian Extinction, which saw the disappearance of 90 percent of ocean life. 
Our own species is suffering, too, on this degraded and crowded planet. Hundreds of millions face food insecurity, and agricultural production must rise 50 percent by mid-century to meet growing demands.  Freshwater resources are under similar strain as snowpack melts and aquifers are drained faster than they are replenished. By 2050, 40 percent of humanity could confront severe water stress. 
Human health is also at risk. Since 1970, some 200 pathogens have leapt from wild animals to people, often through intermediate hosts. They include among others HIV/AIDS, Ebola, SARS, Nipah, West Nile, MERS, H5N1, monkey pox, and of course SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 and that came from horseshoe bats While epidemiologists debate the pandemic’s proximate origins (natural transmission versus laboratory leak), they agree that we have entered a new era of infectious disease—and that our unsustainable approach to nature is partly to blame.  As humans and livestock encroach upon and disrupt biodiverse ecosystems, they encounter once-isolated species, exposing themselves to new viruses that can quickly spread globally.  The average annual cost of emerging zoonoses is more than $1 trillion worldwide, with periodic pandemics capable of inflicting severe damage (in the case of COVID-19, as much as $28 trillion in lost global growth through 2025). . 
Two and a half centuries after the much-maligned Thomas Malthus published his Essay on the Principle of Population, the good reverend merits another hearing, albeit with a twist. .  While Malthus may have erred in arguing that food production could never keep pace with human fecundity, overconsumption is definitely an ecological problem. According to the Global Footprint Network, it would take almost five Earths’ worth of resources for the world’s 8 billion inhabitants to achieve the same living standard average Americans enjoy today. .  And things are poised to get worse before they get better. Despite declining fertility, the human population will not plateau until at least 2060, and the aspirations of a rising global middle class will exacerbate ecological strains. .  Contrary to the beguiling claims of techno-utopians, there is scant evidence that societies get “more from less” as they become wealthier. .  Rather, the newly prosperous tend to outsource their natural resource demands to developing countries. . 
In seeking to satisfy these appetites, we risk breaching several planetary boundaries—including those related to atmospheric CO2 concentrations, ocean acidification, species extinction, and nitrogen fixation—that define what scientists call a “safe operating space for humanity.” .  Indeed, evidence is mounting that important subcomponents of the Earth system could be approaching critical thresholds that, when crossed, bring about massive, nonlinear shifts that will themselves accelerate climate change, with disastrous and potentially irreversible consequences for nature and humanity. .  Such potential discontinuities include a rapid die-back of the Amazon rainforest, abrupt melting of boreal permafrost, and the sudden collapse of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, an oceanic conveyor belt that keeps Europe’s climate temperate. . 
Short of an alien invasion from outer space, it is hard to imagine any threat warranting more global solidarity and collective action than the prospect of rendering the sole planet we have uninhabitable. Our circumstance cries out for a “present at the creation” moment, akin to the flurry of international institution-building that followed World War II. . 
“Short of an alien invasion from outer space, it is hard to imagine any threat warranting more global solidarity and collective action than the prospect of rendering the sole planet we have uninhabitable.”
Instead, multilateral environmental cooperation is flailing. Most nations continue to treat ecological challenges as second-tier foreign policy priorities best managed by environmental ministries, leaving their foreign, defense, finance, and trade counterparts to focus on (presumably weightier) matters like geopolitical competition, alliance politics, arms control, macroeconomic coordination, and international commerce. The results are predictable. What passes for multilateral environmental governance is a patchwork of weak, sector-specific agreements, overseen by underpowered implementing bodies unable to enforce compliance with ostensible commitments. The annual COPs provide a case in point. The Earth may be on fire, but the planet’s fate continues to depend on a hodgepodge of uncoordinated national pledges driven by short-term domestic political and economic considerations.
A NEW MINDSET
The advent of the Anthropocene demands something more. It warrants a paradigm shift in foreign policy and international relations, in which cooperation on the shared environmental threats of climate change and collapsing biodiversity move to centre stage. Planetary politics begins with the recognition that our traditional approaches to foreign policy, international security, and world order are incapable of addressing the most pressing ecological threats to human lives and livelihoods. As an initial step, all governments must designate the survival of the biosphere as a core national interest and a central objective of national security—and organize and invest accordingly.
EMBRACING ECOLOGICAL REALISM
The global environmental emergency, like the COVID-19 pandemic, has exposed the limitations of traditional political realism as a guide to statecraft in an age of planetary threats. That venerable perspective, elaborated by Thucydides, Niccolo Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau as well as more recent thinkers and practitioners like Hans Morgenthau and Henry Kissinger, still dominates the study and practice of foreign policy, not least in the United States. .  It depicts the international system as a fundamentally anarchic, cutthroat realm in which nations must be ever vigilant of the prospect of violence and nurture military capabilities to defend themselves. Alas, any step that one state takes to enhance its power inevitably makes others feel vulnerable, producing the well-known security dilemma. .  International institutions and alliances can dampen but never eliminate these dynamics, which are rooted in the human desire to dominate and the absence of world government.
“Political realists are fond of describing world politics as a Hobbesian ‘state of nature.’ But they seldom pause to consider the state of nature itself.”
Political realism has its uses. It helps explain Sino-American geopolitical rivalry and regional tensions among Persian Gulf nations, for instance. But it offers little insight on how to think about—much less respond to—threats without a threatened, like climate change or pandemic disease, that arise from human interactions with the environment. .  Its blind spot is in assuming that humanity and nature exist in a steady state, when in fact the potential collapse of the living planet as we have known it is the biggest long-term existential threat we face. There is irony here. Political realists are fond of describing world politics as a Hobbesian “state of nature.”.  But they seldom pause to consider the state of nature itself.
The global environmental crisis requires a new statecraft grounded in ecological realism: namely, recognition that the entire human enterprise depends on a healthy, stable biosphere. .  Ecological realism does not discard the national interest as a concept but broadens it to encompass the preservation of Earth’s life-support systems as an objective at least as important as the short-term pursuit of military, political, economic, or technological power. It likewise expands the definition of national security to encompass safeguarding the ecological foundations of human survival. . 
Foreign policy traditionalists may flinch at such a reframing, not wanting to distract diplomats and defense officials from what they call high politics. Times, however, are changing. In 1947, when then U.S. secretary of state George Marshall appointed George Kennan his first director of policy planning, he famously gave the latter just two words of advice: “avoid trivia.” .  Rather than fixate on daily minutiae, the new office should focus on the big picture and a longer time horizon. In Kennan’s era, that meant containing Soviet communism. Marshall’s admonition remains apt, but what counts as important has changed. While a new geopolitical rival, China, looms large, many other items on the U.S. foreign policy agenda—like the future of al-Qaeda or the fate of Nicolás Maduro’s regime in Venezuela—seem trivial, at least compared to the fate of the living planet. .  The same is true for other national governments.
Any definition of security that does not consider Earth’s long-term habitability is inherently suspect. This was something that Jessica Tuchman Mathews recognized back in 1989, when she penned an extraordinarily prescient article on “Redefining Security” for the journal Foreign Affairs. For the first time in history, humanity had begun to “alter the environment on a planetary scale,” rendering “the assumptions and institutions that have governed international relations in the post-war era . . . a poor fit” for policymakers.” Unfortunately, she observed, “Ignorance of the biological underpinning of human society blocks a clear view of where the long-term threats to global security lie.” . 
“Any definition of security that does not consider Earth’s long-term habitability is inherently suspect.”
More than three decades later, conditions may finally be ripe for a paradigm shift in foreign policy and international affairs, including in the United States. .  Just a week after his inauguration in January 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden issued a historic executive order declaring climate change a top-tier threat to U.S. national security and directing his administration to lead a whole-of-government response to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to global warming. .  Three months later, his director of national intelligence, Avril Haynes, told world leaders assembled for Earth Day that climate change “must be at the centre of our country’s national security and foreign policy.” . 
The challenge now is to translate these insights into practical action at the national and multilateral level to address the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. .  In the United States, that means inculcating this new worldview across U.S. diplomatic, defence, development, energy, environmental, health, intelligence, and other agencies, as well as working with Congress to reshape a massive national security budget still weighted overwhelmingly toward countering traditional geopolitical and military threats. .  Globally, it means collaborating with foreign partners on a multilateral response to slow and reverse the despoliation of the natural world. The United States needs a new “long telegram,” grounded in ecological realism, that spells out a comprehensive strategy to preserve the biosphere. . 
At the multilateral level, a shift to planetary politics will require national authorities of all nations to adopt a new ethic of environmental stewardship, expanding their concept of sovereign obligation to include a responsibility for protecting the global commons. In parallel, governments, businesses, and communities will need to value and account for Earth’s natural capital assets, rather than taking them for granted and exploiting them to depletion.
REFRAMING THE OBLIGATIONS OF SOVEREIGNTY
A shift to planetary politics requires new, shared understandings of sovereign obligations. The world’s governments must bring traditional concepts of sovereignty into line with the imperatives of ecological stewardship by endorsing a new state responsibility to protect the global environment. The core obligation should be to refrain from national actions that might fundamentally alter or damage the Earth system.  No such understanding currently exists.
Consider the high-profile ruckus that erupted in August 2019 between the presidents of France and Brazil as tens of thousands of fires ravaged the Amazon rainforest. Emmanuel Macron accused his counterpart, Jair Bolsonaro, of “ecocide” in opening the forest to rapacious loggers, ranchers, farmers, and miners. The indignant Brazilian blasted Macron for treating his country “as if we are a colony or a no-man’s land.” 
The brouhaha exposed two rival conceptions of sovereignty. For Bolsonaro, Brazil had an absolute right to develop the Amazon at it saw fit. “Our sovereignty is non-negotiable,” his spokesman declared.  For Macron, the rest of the world was no mere bystander but rather a stakeholder in the rainforest’s survival. It could not and would not remain silent as Brazil despoiled this indispensable carbon sink, irreplaceable oxygen source, and precious biodiversity repository. The core debate, in other words, was whether Brazil should be considered the rainforest’s owner or merely its steward. 
“A shift to planetary politics requires new, shared understandings of sovereign obligations.”
The Bolsonaro-Macron dispute will not be the last of its kind, because the environmental policies that states adopt in national jurisdictions can affect other countries. This is most obvious when it comes to greenhouse gases, of course, as emissions anywhere influence the atmospheric total; but it also applies to air and ocean pollution, the destruction of species and ecosystems, rampant overfishing, interruption of the nitrogen cycle, and much more. The logical, if fraught, way to resolve this predicament is to expand sovereign responsibility to include a duty to protect the biosphere. The greening of sovereignty begins with universal acknowledgement that it is does not give countries license to despoil the planet. 
There are precedents for this sort of shift. Contrary to the mythology of Westphalia, sovereignty has never been absolute or fixed. It has been continually contested, negotiated, and adapted (as well as violated, of course).  The belief that sovereignty implies not just privileges but obligations, and is contingent on the fulfilment of core duties, is by now widely accepted States cannot allow terrorists to operate with impunity on their territory, for example. Similarly, governments have a responsibility to protect (R2P) their inhabitants from mass atrocities. 
If they fail to discharge either obligation, they may forfeit a presumption against intervention. Some experts have proposed extending this logic to other cross-border harms. Former U.S. secretary of homeland security Michael Chertoff, for instance, posits that states have a sovereign “responsibility to contain” weapons and technology of mass destruction—and that derelict governments should be held to account in a global extension of “the legal principle of nuisance.” 
“As the planet’s ecological crisis deepens, the world will likely need to articulate and eventually codify a new global norm: a responsibility to protect the Earth.”
The Anthropocene warrants a similar adjustment, since short-sighted national policies can generate dangerous environmental spill overs. Under customary international law, sovereign states already have a general due diligence obligation, known as the no harm rule, not to injure the environment in areas beyond their jurisdiction.  Still, there is little consensus on the precise definition of transnational environmental damage, the spheres to which it should apply, the threshold at which state obligations kick in, or how countries might be held liable for cross-border injuries.  Witness, for example, the fraught, ongoing debates over whether historic emitters of greenhouse gases should compensate vulnerable developing nations for loss and damage associated with climate change and its repercussions. 
These questions are becoming trickier as potential sources of damage become more complex. As the planet’s ecological crisis deepens, the world will likely need to articulate and eventually codify a new global norm: a responsibility to protect the Earth (R2PE).  Under R2PE, nations would agree not only to avoid generating transboundary harms but more generally to forswear activities that threaten the biosphere’s integrity. They would open themselves to external scrutiny, allowing others to monitor and verify their compliance with multilateral commitments. As this regime develops, those guilty of egregious violations could find themselves exposed to sanctions and other penalties.
The first step, of course, is to enumerate the precise obligations accompanying this new ethic of planetary stewardship, so that mechanisms might be developed to hold sovereign states accountable. Helpful advice on where to begin comes from an unlikely source. “What is needed . . .,” Pope Francis writes in his 2015 encyclical Laudato Si (Praise Be to You), “is an agreement on systems of governance for the whole range of so-called ‘global commons.’” 
Technically speaking, “commons” are shared pool resources, like fisheries or pasturelands, that belong to nobody but are open for use by all at no (or minimal) cost. Their inherent vulnerability is their susceptibility to overuse and degradation. In the absence of rules limiting, or charges for, access, actors are tempted to exploit such domains to exhaustion—a dilemma described by Garrett Hardin in his classic article, “The Tragedy of the Commons.” 
Historically, international law has recognized only four such global commons: Antarctica, the atmosphere, the high seas, and outer space. Nations have consented to treat these domains as part of humanity’s shared heritage, avoid exclusive sovereignty claims in each, and encourage their sustainable use.
The Anthropocene will likely require expanding this traditional concept of the global commons to encompass a wider array of vulnerable biomes, ecosystems, and natural cycles critical to the planet’s health and resilience, regardless of whether (like the Amazon rainforest) they are contained primarily or even entirely in the territory of a single state or group of states.  This proposition may seem radical, but the biosphere is an integrated whole that is not easily reconciled with state frontiers.
It is the complex product of dynamic interactions among the atmosphere, the cryosphere (or frozen regions), the hydrosphere (including ocean currents and chemistry), terrestrial and marine ecosystems, and the water, carbon, nitrogen, and other biogeochemical cycles.  The impact of human actions on these subsystems, which regulate the planet’s climate, rainfall, and temperature, is of concern to all members of our species, regardless of where they dwell. 
Getting to agreement will not be easy. Nations will have to agree on the dimensions of the Earth system that ought to be included in this category and update this consensus periodically as scientific knowledge advances. The even more daunting task will be figuring out how to govern these various components collectively, so that humanity can benefit from relevant biomes, ecosystems, organisms, and processes without imperilling their long-term stability and resilience.
While such ambitions might seem impracticable, there are precedents for renegotiating the obligations of sovereignty. In the wake of genocide in Rwanda and the Balkans, the Canadian government sponsored an International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. Its ground breaking 2001 report, The Responsibility to Protect, provided the intellectual, ethical, and practical rationale for that new, eponymous norm.  In 2005, UN member states unanimously endorsed R2P, thanks in part to the visionary leadership of the UN secretary general Kofi Annan.  One could imagine the current secretary general, Antonio Guterres, or his successor launching a similar process to protect the global environment.
PUTTING A PRICE ON NATURE: WHAT IS EARTH WORTH?
Planetary politics also implies putting a price on nature. For too long, our dominant economic models have treated the world economy as if it existed apart from the biosphere, ignoring the ecological preconditions for sustainable growth and development. We have readily invested in produced capital—like buildings, roads, machines, and software—and human capital—such as education and healthcare—while running down the natural capital that sustains our lives and livelihoods We have assumed that the Earth would bounce back from whatever we threw at it and that technological innovation and market incentives would allow us to break free from any resource constraints of a finite planet. 
In the Anthropocene, such attitudes are no longer tenable. Nature is not just something that is nice to have, and its conservation is not merely a “personal virtue,” as then U.S. vice president Dick Cheney infamously put it in 2001.  It is the ultimate foundation for prosperity, and yet we are plundering it.
According to UNEP, the planet’s stock of natural capital has declined 40 percent since 1992. Reversing this trend will require governments, firms, and communities to adopt a more inclusive definition of wealth that encompasses the value of the planet’s natural assets and the myriad benefits they provide humanity. 
These benefits fall into three broad categories. Regulatory services are the functions that healthy organisms and ecosystems play in creating conditions conducive to human life, including by controlling pests and disease, cycling nutrients, determining air quality, enriching soil, filtering water, pollinating crops, sequestering carbon, and buffering the impact of floods and storms. Provisioning services encompass the direct material benefits humans obtain from nature, such as from fiber, food, fuels, genetic resources, plant-based medicines, and timber. Finally, nonmaterial services include the multiple subjective psychological, recreational, and spiritual benefits humans derive from the living Earth. 
Many environmentalists resist placing a monetary value on nature, citing its intrinsic worth and bridling at its perceived commodification But failing to do so encourages firms and individuals, as well as governments, to take ecosystem services for granted and, because they are under-priced (or not priced at all), to exploit them to exhaustion. The result is market failure, in the form of environmental costs borne not by the participants in any specific exchange but by society as a whole (what economists call “negative externalities”).
”According to the World Economic Forum, 50 percent of all global output, worth $44 trillion per year, is highly or moderately dependent on benefits from nature.”
There is no inherent contradiction between capitalism and conservation, between the pursuit of profit and environmental stewardship. Reconciling the two, however, requires a new mindset and new approaches to valuing nature, not only on the part of ecologists but also from participants in the global marketplace who have tended to ignore the fate of the biosphere. Belatedly, some capitalists and economists are acknowledging the inadequacy of orthodox approaches to growth. According to the World Economic Forum, 50 percent of all global output, worth $44 trillion per year, is highly or moderately dependent on benefits from nature—benefits that are increasingly in jeopardy.  Another study places the total annual value of the planet’s ecosystem services between $125 trillion and $145 trillion. 
In February 2021, a multischolar team led by the British economist Sir Partha Dasgupta published The Economics of Biodiversity. Quickly dubbed “the Stern Review for biodiversity,” this landmark study repudiated the assumption that human ingenuity and market incentives can deliver perpetual growth and development regardless of their impact on the biosphere.  The world economy is inextricably embedded in nature, and yet GDP, the conventional measure of wealth and progress, neither accounts for nor promotes the conservation of natural capital, making it a poor indicator of well-being and long-term productive capacity. 
Mainstreaming natural capital accounting requires governments and businesses to track such assets, incorporate them into balance sheets, and commit to transparency regarding their stewardship.  In March 2021, the United Nations released an updated framework for standardized ecosystem accounting to facilitate this. Some ninety countries—including EU members and more than forty developing nations, but not yet the United States—have produced baseline natural capital accounts. 
Governments must also deploy incentives and adopt regulations to motivate or require firms to shoulder the ecological costs of their market behaviour, rather than continuing to pass these along to society. Too many of nature’s goods and services are overexploited because they have no price—or even a negative price, thanks to perverse subsidies. According to the Dasgupta review, the world’s governments spend some $4–$6 trillion on environmentally damaging subsidies, including for agriculture, fisheries, fuel, and water.  By contrast, they devote only $68 billion annually to global conservation and sustainability—approximately what their citizens spend on ice cream. Exposing the true costs of these subventions could make it more likely that governments will reduce and ultimately eliminate them.
“Making peace with nature is the defining task of the [twenty-first] century,” U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres has declared. .  Indeed, it poses the greatest collective action challenge humanity has ever faced. Preserving the ecological foundations for human civilization requires above all a change of mindset: recognizing that our species must live in harmony with, and become wise stewards of, a biosphere in which we are deeply and inescapably embedded. Success in this endeavor will require not only arresting climate change but safeguarding biological diversity and the innumerable benefits we obtain from healthy ecosystems. As the late, famed evolutionary biologist E. O. Wilson wrote, “Biodiversity as a whole forms a shield protecting each of the species that compose it, ourselves included.” .  We ignore it—and abuse it—at our peril.
The predicament we confront is encapsulated in the dueling cartographies that have vied for our attention ever since we opened our first atlas as children. It likely began with two distinct maps. The first, geophysical one, captured the world in its natural state, revealing a startling array of biomes and ecosystems—rainforests and savannas, steppe and taiga, mountains and glaciers, river valleys and deserts, icecaps and tundra, remote atolls and barrier reefs, continental shelves and deep-sea trenches—shading into one another in often jagged and overlapping ways. The second, geopolitical one, depicted Earth’s terrestrial surface carved into precise lines demarcating independent territorial units, each colored distinctly from its neighbors, with a star indicating its capital. . 
“The crisis of the biosphere has forced a collision of these two maps, exposing the tension between an integrated natural world and a divided world polity, demanding that we reconcile the two.”
These dueling cartographies have always been jarring, and it’s not always clear how they shape and relate to one another. The first, like the famous “Earthrise” photograph taken by astronauts aboard Apollo 8, is clearly the more authentic representation of our planet. .  The second, with its artificially imposed borders, is akin to a work of fiction—and yet people tend to treat it as more important. The crisis of the biosphere has forced a collision of these two maps, exposing the tension between an integrated natural world and a divided world polity, demanding that we reconcile the two. . 
National sovereignty is here to stay, but a new worldview grounded in ecological realism could help close the distance between the political and natural worlds. While paradigm shifts are rare in world politics, the arrival of the Anthropocene is a transformative moment, underlining humanity’s common destiny. Our predicament cries out for new thinking about our relationship to the Earth and how new forms of international cooperation might permit us to survive and even repair the damage we have done to our common home. It cries out for planetary politics.
Andersen cited in Damian Carrington, “Climate Crisis: UN Finds ‘No Credible Pathway to 1.5°C in Place,’” Guardian, October 27, 2022, Available at the following link: https://www.theguardian.com/environment
Abhinav Chugh, “Loss and Damage: Why Climate Reparations Are Top of the Agenda at COP27,” World Economic Forum, October 27, 2022, Available at the following link: https://www.weforum.org.
A classic example of this optimistic argument is Andrew McAfee, More From Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources—and What Happens Next (Scribner, 2019)..
Biden’s Environmental Agenda Must Go Beyond Climate Change,” World Politics Review, November 30, 2020, https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com.
COP 26 Exposed the Sorry State of Climate Diplomacy,” World Politics Review, November 22, 2021, https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com.
Carl Pires, “The Trump Ally Who Is Allowing the Amazon to Burn,” New Yorker, August 28, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-trump-ally-who-is-allowing-the-amazon-to-burn; and Aurelian Breeden and Megan Specia, “Dispute Over Amazon Gets Personal for Bolsonaro and Macron,” New York Times, August 26, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com
. Conservation International, “Deforestation: 11 Facts You Need to Know,” Available at the following link: https://www.conservation.org Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (New York: Henry Holt, 2014).
Erik Solheim, “The Planet Is on the Edge of a Global Plastic Calamity,” Guardian, June 5, 2018, Available at the following link: https://www.theguardian.com
. Ferris Jabr, “The Earth Is Just as Alive as You Are,” New York Times, April 20 2019, Available at the following link: https://www.nytimes.com
.Hans Rosling, Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong about the World—and Why Things are Better than You Think (Flatiron Books, 2018)..د
Kate Poole, “IPBES and the Threats to the World’s Fresh Water,” Natural Resources Defense Council, May 6, 2019, Available at the following link: https://www.nrdc.org
.Robert Engelman, “Beyond Sustainababble,” State of the World 2013 (Washington, DC: Worldwatch Institute, 2013), 3–16.
Robert Scholes et. al., The Assessment Report on Land Degradation and Restoration: Summary for Policymakers (IPBES: March 24, 2018), Available at the following link: https://zenodo.org/record
Sandra Diaz et. al., The Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Summary for Policymakers (IPBES: 2019), Available at the following link: https://ipbes.net/sites/default/files/2020-
Stewart M. Patrick, “The International Order Isn’t Ready for the Climate Crisis: The Case for a New Planetary Politics,” Foreign Affairs (November/December 2021), Available at the following link: https://www.foreignaffairs.com
.Stewart M. Patrick, “The Case for Ecological Realism,” World Politics Review, July 20, 2020, Available at the following link: https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com
. UN Environment, “Global Biodiversity Outlook 5,” September 15, 2020, Available at the following link: https://livingplanet.panda.org/en-US.
The premier global authority on the state of global biodiversity is the ungainly-titled Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), established in April 2012. The IPBES, which draws on the work of thousands of scientists, plays a role analogous to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). See “About,” Available at the following link: IPBES, https://ipbes.net/about.
Towards Blue Transformation: A Vision for Transforming Aquatic Food Systems,” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2022, https://www.fao.org/state-of-fisheries-aquaculture; and “Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services,” IPBES, 2019, https://ipbes.net/global-assessment.
Will Steffen, Wendy Broadgate, Lisa Deutsch, Owen Gaffney, and Cornelia Ludwig, “The Trajectory of the Anthropocene: The Great Accelleration,” Anthropocene Review 2, no. 1 (January 16, 2015), Available at the following link: https://journals.sagepub.com.
World Wide Fund for Nature, “Living Planet Report 2022”; David L. Wagner et. al., “Insect Decline in the Anthropocene: Death by a Thousand Cuts,” PNAS 118, no. 2, January 11, 2021, Available at the following link: https://www.pnas.org
Yinon M. Bar-On, “The Biomass Distribution on Earth,” PNAS 115, no. 25 (May 21, 2018), 6506–6511, https://www.pnas.org.
.“COP 26 Exposed the Sorry State of Climate Diplomacy,” World Politics Review, November 22, 2021, https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/to-reach-mitigation-climate-change-diplomacy-must-do-better.
 . “Biden’s Environmental Agenda Must Go Beyond Climate Change,” World Politics Review, November 30, 2020, https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/biden-s-environmental-agenda-must-go-beyond-climate-change.
. Stewart M. Patrick, “The International Order Isn’t Ready for the Climate Crisis: The Case for a New Planetary Politics,” Foreign Affairs (November/December 2021), https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/world/2021-10-19/climate-crisis-international-order-isnt-ready.
 .Stewart M. Patrick, “The Case for Ecological Realism,” World Politics Review, July 20, 2020, https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/the-case-for-ecological-realism.
 .The Anthropocene label was first suggested by Nobel Prize-winning scientist Paul Crutzen and his colleague Eugene Stoermer in 2001. This proposed new epoch would replace the Holocene, which began just under 12,000 years ago, at the end of the last glaciation. See Will Steffen, Paul J. Crutzen, and John R. McNeill, “The Anthropocene: Are Humans Now Overwhelming the Great Forces of Nature?,” Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, 2007, https://www.pik-potsdam.de/news/public-events/archiv/alter-net/former-ss/2007/05-09.2007/steffen/literature/ambi-36-08-06_614_621.pdf.
 .Hans Rosling, Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong about the World—and Why Things are Better than You Think (Flatiron Books, 2018)..
 .Robert Engelman, “Beyond Sustainababble,” State of the World 2013 (Washington, DC: Worldwatch Institute, 2013), 3–16.
 .Will Steffen, Wendy Broadgate, Lisa Deutsch, Owen Gaffney, and Cornelia Ludwig, “The Trajectory of the Anthropocene: The Great Accelleration,” Anthropocene Review 2, no. 1 (January 16,
2015), https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/2053019614564785; J. R. McNeill and Peter Engelke, The Great Acceleration: An Environmental History of the Anthropocene Since 1945 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press,
 . Ferris Jabr, “The Earth Is Just as Alive as You Are,” New York Times, April 20, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/20/opinion/sunday/amazon-earth-rain-forest-environment.html.
 . UN Environment, “Global Biodiversity Outlook 5,” September 15, 2020, https://www.cbd.int/gbo5; and World Wide Fund for Nature, “Living Planet Report 2022,” https://livingplanet.panda.org/en-US.
 . David Wallace-Wells, The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming (New York: Tim Duggan, 2019); Stewart M. Patrick, “The Long-Awaited Climate Emergency Is Now,” World Politics Review, August 16,
2021, https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/even-with-mitigation-climate-change-will-remake-the-planet; and Stewart M. Patrick, “How Should the World Respond to the Coming Wave of Climate Migrants?,” World Politics Review, March 16, 2020, https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/how-should-the-world-respond-to-the-coming-wave-of-climate-migrants.
 . UNEP, “Emissions Gap Report 2022,” October 27
, 2022, https://www.unep.org/resources/emissions-gap-report-2022; Sarah Kaplan, “World Falls ‘Pitifully Short’ of Meeting Climate Goals, U.N. Report
Says,” Washington Post, October 27, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2022/10/27/emissions-climate-change-temperature-rise.
 . Andersen cited in Damian Carrington, “Climate Crisis: UN Finds ‘No Credible Pathway to 1.5°C in Place,’” Guardian, October 27,
 . Stewart M. Patrick, “How Biden Can Embrace Environmental Stewardship,” World Politics Review, February 22, 2021, https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/it-s-time-to-take-biodiversity-threats-more-seriously. The leading causes of biodiversity loss are (in order): degradation of land and seascapes, climate change, unsustainable exploitation, pollution, and invasive species. See Eduardo Brondizio, Sandra Diaz, Josef Settele, and Hien T. Ngo (eds.), Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES: 2019), https://ipbes.net/global-assessment.
 . The premier global authority on the state of global biodiversity is the ungainly-titled Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), established in April 2012. The IPBES, which draws on the work of thousands of scientists, plays a role analogous to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). See “About,” IPBES, https://ipbes.net/about.
 . Robert Scholes et. al., The Assessment Report on Land Degradation and Restoration: Summary for Policymakers (IPBES: March 24, 2018), https://zenodo.org/record/3237411#.Y1q3a3bMKUm; and IPBES, “Media Release: Worsening Worldwide Land Degradation Now ‘Critical’, Undermining Well-Being of 3.2 Billion People,” March 23, 2018, https://seea.un.org/content/media-release-worsening-worldwide-land-degradation-now-%E2%80%98critical%E2%80%99-undermining-well-being-32.
 . Towards Blue Transformation: A Vision for Transforming Aquatic Food Systems,” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2022, https://www.fao.org/state-of-fisheries-aquaculture; and “Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services,” IPBES, 2019, https://ipbes.net/global-assessment.
 . Erik Solheim, “The Planet Is on the Edge of a Global Plastic Calamity,” Guardian, June 5, 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/05/the-planet-is-on-edge-of-a-global-plastic-calamity.
 . One Ocean, “Marine Pollution,” https://www.oceanprotect.org/resources/issue-briefs/marine-pollution/#:~:text=Taking%20an%20average%20of%208,four%20per%20minute%20by%202050. . UN Environment, “The First Integrated Integrated Marine Assessment: Ocean Assessment I, (2016), https://www.unep.org/resources/report/first-global-integrated-marine-assessment-world-ocean-assessment-i.
 . Sandra Diaz et. al., The Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Summary for Policymakers (IPBES: 2019), https://ipbes.net/sites/default/files/2020-02/ipbes_global_assessment_report_summary_for_policymakers_en.pdf.
 . World Wide Fund for Nature, “Living Planet Report 2022”; David L. Wagner et. al., “Insect Decline in the Anthropocene: Death by a Thousand Cuts,” PNAS 118, no. 2, January 11, 2021, https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.2023989118#:~:text=Dirzo%20et%20al.’s%20(,in%20the%20last%20four%20decades; Ben Guarino, “’Hyperalarming’ Study Shows Massive Insect Loss,” Washington Post, October 15, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2018/10/15/hyperalarming-study-shows-massive-insect-loss; and Kenneth V. Rosenberg et. al., “Decline of the North American Avifauna,” Science 366, no. 6461 (September 19, 2019), 120–124, https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.aaw1313#:~:text=Integration%20of%20range%2Dwide%20population,a%20recent%2010%2Dyear%20period.
 . Conservation International, “Deforestation: 11 Facts You Need to
Know,” https://www.conservation.org/stories/11-deforestation-facts-you-need-to-know; Erik Stokstad, “New Global Study Reveals the ‘Staggering’ Loss of Forests Caused by Industrial Agriculture,” Science, September 13, 2018,
https://www.science.org/content/article/scientists-reveal-how-much-world-s-forests-being-destroyed-industrial-agriculture; and Philip G. Curtis et. al., “Classifying Drivers of Global Forest Loss,” Science 361 (2018), 1108–1111,
 . Kate Poole, “IPBES and the Threats to the World’s Fresh Water,” Natural Resources Defense Council, May 6, 2019, https://www.nrdc.org/experts/kate-poole/ipbes-and-threats-worlds-fresh-water#:~:text=More%20than%2080%25%20of%20wastewater,times%20faster%20than%20forest%20loss; Ilka C. Feller, Daniel A. Friess, Ken W. Krauss, and Roy R. Lewis III, “The State of the World’s Mangroves in the 21st Century Under Climate Change,” Hydrobiologia 803 (2017), 1–
 . Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (New York: Henry Holt, 2014).
 . Bradley Dennis, “Oceans Are Warming Faster Than Ever: Here’s What Could Come Next,” Washington Post, October 18,
2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2022/10/19/oceans-warming-climate-change; and “Ocean Acidification,” Smithsonian
Institution, https://ocean.si.edu/ocean-life/invertebrates/ocean-acidification#:~:text=Even%20though%20the%20ocean%20is,the%20last%2050%20million%20years. The oceans absorb 90 percent of the heat from global warming. See “Ocean Warming,” NASA, https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/ocean-heat
 . Elena Becatoros, “More Than 90 Percent of World’s Coral Reefs Will Die by 2050,” Independent, March 13, 2017, https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/environment-90-percent-coral-reefs-die-2050-climate-change-bleaching-pollution-a7626911.html; and World Economic Forum, “2021 Ocean Temperatures Were Warmest on Record,” January 18,
 . Justin L. Penn and Curtis Deutsch, “Avoiding Mass Extinction From Climate Warming,” Science 376, no. 6592 (April 28, 2022), 524–
526, https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abe9039; and Catrin Einhorn, “Warning on Mass Extinction on Sea Life: ‘An Oh My God’ Moment,” New York Times, April 28, 2022, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/28/climate/global-warming-ocean-extinctions.html
 . World Bank Group, High and Dry: Climate Change, Water, and the Economy (World Bank, Washington, DC: 2016), https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/water/publication/high-and-dry-climate-change-
 . Stewart M. Patrick, “The Coronavirus Pandemic Is the Shape of Things to Come,” World Politics Review, February 24, 2020, https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/the-coronavirus-outbreak-is-the-shape-of-things-to-come.
 . United Nations Environment Programme and International Livestock Research Institute, Preventing the Next Pandemic: Zoonotic Diseases and How to Break the Chain of Transmission (2020), https://www.unep.org/resources/report/preventing-future-zoonotic-disease-outbreaks-protecting-environment-animals-and.
 . Stewart M. Patrick, “Earth Day’s New Urgency in the Era of COVID-19,” World Politics Review, April 20, 2020, https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/earth-day-s-new-urgency-in-the-era-of-covid-19.
 . Stewart M. Patrick, “Earth Day’s New Urgency in the Era of COVID-19,” World Politics Review, April 20, 2020, https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/earth-day-s-new-urgency-in-the-era-of-covid-19.
 . Thomas Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population (London: J. Johnson, 1798), https://math.uchicago.edu/~shmuel/Modeling/Malthus,%20An%20essay%20on%20the%20principle%20of%20population.pdf..
 . Demographers offer widely divergent estimates about when and at what level global population will peak. The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs anticipates that it will level off at nearly 11 billion in 2100, while another authoritative study predicts a peak of 9.7 billion in 2064. See “Growing at a Slower Pace, World Population Is Expected to Reach 9.7 Billion in 2050, and Could Peak at Around 11 Billion in 2100,” United Nations, June 17,
2019, https://www.un.org/development/desa/en/news/population/world-population-prospects-2019.html; and Stein Emil Vollset, et. al., “Fertility, Mortality, Migration, and Population Scenarios for 195 Countries and Territories from 2017 to 2100: A Forecasting Analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study,” The Lancet 396, 10258 (October17, 2020), https://www.thelancet.com/article/S0140-6736(20)30677-2/fulltext..
 . A classic example of this optimistic argument is Andrew McAfee, More From Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources—and What Happens Next (Scribner, 2019)..
 . For a pointed critique of McAfee’s thesis, see Jason Hickel, “The Myth of America’s Green Growth,” Foreign Policy, June 18, 2020 , https://foreignpolicy.com /2020/06/18/more-from-less-green-growth-environment-gdp..
 . Johan Rockstrom et. al., “A Safe Operating Space for Humanity,” Nature 461 (September 23, 2009), 472–475, https://www.nature.com/articles/461472a; Will Steffen et. al., “Planetary Boundaries: Guiding Human Development on a Changing Planet,” Science, 347, 6223 (January 15,
2015), https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.1259855; and Anthony D. Barnosky et. al., “Approaching a State Shift in Earth’s Biosphere,” Nature 486 (June 7, 2012), https://www.nature.com/articles/nature11018..
 . Timothy M. Lenton, “Climate Tipping Points—Too Risky to Bet
Against,” Nature (November 27, 2019), https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03595-0; and “The Growing Risk of Climate ‘Tipping Points’: Scientific Evidence and Policy Responses,” Council on Foreign Relations webinar, February 4, 2022, https://www.cfr.org/event/growing-risk-climate-tipping-points-scientific-evidence-and-policy-responses..
 . David I. Armstrong McKay et. al. “Exceeding 1.5°C Global Warming Could Trigger Multiple Climate Tipping Points,” Science 377, 6611 (September 9, 2022), https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abn7950; Stewart M. Patrick, “Tipping Points Make Climate Inaction Even More Catastrophic,” World Politics Review, February 14, 2022, https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/as-the-world-nears-tipping-points-climate-action-can-t-be-ignored..
 . Stewart Patrick, The Best Laid Plans: The Origins of American Multilateralism and the Dawn of the Cold War (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2009)..
 . “Political Realism in International Relations,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/realism-intl-relations; Stephen M. Walt, “The World Wants You to Think Like a Realist,” Foreign Policy, May 30, 2018, https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/05/30/the-world-wants-you-to-think-like-a-realist..
 . Robert Jervis, “Cooperation Under the Security Dilemma,” World Politics 30, 2 (January 1978), 167–214, https://www.jstor.org/stable/2009958?seq=1; and Stephen M. Walt, “Does Anyone Still Understand the ‘Security Dilemma’?,” Foreign Policy, July 26, 2022, https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/07/26/misperception-security-dilemma-ir-theory-russia-ukraine..
 . Gregory F. Treverton, Erik Nemeth, and Sinduja Srinivasan, Threats Without Threateners? Exploring Intersections of Threats to the Global Commons and National Security (Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2012),.
https://www.rand.org/pubs/occasional_papers/OP360.html; Stewart M. Patrick, “COVID-19, and Climate Change, Will Change the Definition of National Security,” World Politics Review, May 18, 2020, https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/covid-19-and-climate-change-will-change-the-definition-of-national-security.
 . Kenneth Waltz, Man, the State, and War: A Theoretical Analysis (New York: Columbia University Press, 1959); and Jan Niklas Rolf, “The State of Nature Analogy in International Relations Theory,” International Relations 28, no. 2 (2014), https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0047117813502502?journalCode=ireb..
 . Patrick, “The Case for Ecological Realism.”.
 . For a similar argument, see R. Schoonover, C. Cavallo, and I. Caltabiano, The Security Threat That Binds Us: The Unraveling of Ecological and Natural Security and What the United States Can Do About It (Washington, DC: Council on Strategic Risks: 2021), https://councilonstrategicrisks.org/the-security-threat-that-binds-us..
 . Daniel W. Drezner, ed., Avoiding Trivia: The Role of Strategic Planning in American Foreign Policy (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2009)..
 . Patrick, “The Case for Ecological Realism.”.
 . Jessica Tuchman Mathews, “Redefining Security,” Foreign Affairs (Spring 1989), https://www.foreignaffairs.com/united-states/redefining-security..
 . For a thoughtful if more skeptical take, including on this author’s writings, see Daniel W. Drezner, “Is a Planetary Grand Strategy Possible? A Few Thoughts on Non-Traditional Grand Strategies,” Washington Post, November 16, 2021 , https://www.washingtonpost.com /outlook/2021/11/16/is-planetary-grand-strategy-possible..
 . White House, “Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad,” January 27, 2021, https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/27/executive-order-on-tackling-the-climate-crisis-at-home-and-abroad.
 . Office of the Director of National Intelligence, “DNI Haines Remarks at the 2021 Leaders Summit on Climate,” April 23,
 . For one take on what a policy of “natural security” might look like, see Schoonover, Cavallo, and Caltabiano, The Security Ties that Bind Us..
 . Patrick, “The International Order Isn’t Ready for the Climate Crisis.”.
 . Katrina vanden Heuvel, “We Need a ‘Long Telegram’ about the Climate Crisis—Not Conflict with China or Russia,” Washington Post, November 9, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/11/09/why-we-need-long-telegram-about-climate-crisis-not-conflict-with-china-or-russia..
 . Stewart M. Patrick, “A Responsibility to Protect the Earth? Reframing Sovereignty in the Anthropocene,” World Politics Review, March 2,
 . Carl Pires, “The Trump Ally Who Is Allowing the Amazon to Burn,” New Yorker, August 28, 2019, https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-trump-ally-who-is-allowing-the-amazon-to-burn; and Aurelian Breeden and Megan Specia, “Dispute Over Amazon Gets Personal for Bolsonaro and Macron,” New York Times, August 26, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/26/world/europe/bolsonaro-macron-g7.html.
 . Rohan Silva, “Amazon Inferno Is a Threat to Us All—and the UN Must Lead the Intervention,” Evening Standard, August 30, 2019,
 . Marko Mavrovic, “The Amazon Fires: Responsibility, Obligation, and the Limitations of the State,” Prindle Post, August 30,
2019, https://www.prindleinstitute.org/2019/08/the-amazon-fires-responsibility-obligation-and-the-limitations-of-the-state; and Stewart M. Patrick, “The International Order Isn’t Ready for the Climate Crisis.”
 . Patrick, “A Responsibility to Protect the Earth?’
 . Stephen D. Krasner, Sovereignty: Organized Hypocrisy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999); and Robert H. Jackson, Sovereignty: The Evolution of an Idea (Cambridge, MA: Polity Press, 2007).
 . Richard N. Haass, “Sovereignty: Existing Rights, Evolving Responsibilities,” Remarks to the School of Foreign Service and the Mortara Center for International Studies, January 14, 2003, https://2001-2009.state.gov/s/p/rem/2003/16648.htm; and Bruce D. Jones, Carlos Pascual, and Stephen John Stedman, Power and Responsibility: Building International Order in an Era of Transnational Threats (Brookings Institution Press, 2009)..
 . Gareth Evans, The Responsibility to Protect: Ending Mass Atrocity Crimes Once and For All (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2008) , https://www.jstor.org/stable /10.7864/j.ctt4cg7fp.
 . Michael Chertoff, “The Responsibility to Contain: Protecting Sovereignty Under International Law,” Foreign Affairs (January/February 2009) , https://www.foreignaffairs.com /world/responsibility-contain.
 . Ian Brownlie, Principles of Public International Law, Seventh Edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 275–-285; and Patricia Birnie, Alan Boyle, and Catherine Redgwell, International Law & the Environment, Third Edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 143–152.
 . Owen McIntyre, “The Current State of Development of the No Significant Harm Principle: How Far Have We Come?,” International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics 20, no. 4 (December
 . Abhinav Chugh, “Loss and Damage: Why Climate Reparations Are Top of the Agenda at COP27,” World Economic Forum, October 27 2022, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/10/cop27-why-climate-reparations-are-one-of-the-biggest-issues.
 . Patrick, “A Responsibility to Protect the Earth?”
 . “Encyclical Letter Laudato Si of the Holy Father Francis on Care for Our Common Home,” May 24, 2015
 . Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science 162, no. 3859 (December 3, 1968), 1243–1248, https://www.jstor.org/stable/1724745?origin=JSTOR-pdf.
 . N. Nakicenovic et. al., “Global Commons in the Anthropocene: World Development on a Stable and Resilient Planet,” International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis Working Paper (October 2016),
https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/id/eprint/14003/; and Paulo Magalhaes et. al., “Redefining Global Commons in the Anthropocene,” Solutions (December 1 2020
 . Naoko Ishi et. al., “Safeguarding the Global Commons for Human Prosperity and Environmental Sustainability: The Global Commons Stewardship Framework,” Center for Global Commons, University of Tokyo, May 2022, https://irp.cdn-website.com/be6d1d56/files/uploaded/Safeguarding-the-Global-Commons-v1.3.pdf.
 . Global Commons Alliance, https://globalcommonsalliance.org/global-commons; and Andrew Milner, “Interview: Professor Johan Rockström, Global Commons Alliance,” Alliance for Philanthropy and Social Investment Worldwide, October 22, 2019, https://www.alliancemagazine.org/interview/science-and-philanthropy-join-forces-to-protect-the-global-commons/.
 . ICISS, The Responsibility to Protect: Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (International Development Research Center, 2001), https://www.idrc.ca/en/book/responsibility-protect-report-international-commission-intervention-and-state-sovereignty.
 . van Simonovic, “The Responsibility to Protect,” UN Chronicle LIII, no. 4 (December 2016), https://www.un.org/en/chronicle/article/responsibility-protect.
 . The concept of natural capital was pioneered in particular by Stanford University professor Getchen C. Daily. See Gretchen C. Daily, Nature’s Services: Societal Dependence on Natural Ecosystems (Island Press, 1997). See also Peter Kareiva, ed., Natural Capital: Theory and Practice of Mapping Ecosystem Services (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), https://academic.oup.com/book/26318.
 . Stewart M. Patrick, “To Save the Natural World, Put a Price on It,” World Politics Review, May 3, 2021, https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/ecological-realism-is-the-key-to-conserving-biodiversity.
 . Martin Kettle, “Cheney Tells US To Carry On Guzzling,” Guardian (May 10, 2001), https://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/may/10/dickcheney.martinkettle
 . UN Environment, Inclusive Wealth Report 2018
 . Sandra Diaz et. al., “Assessing Nature’s Contributions to People,” Science 359, 6373 (January 19, 2018), 270–272
 . Ehsan Masoon, “A Battle for the Soul of Biodiversity,” Nature, August 22, 2018, https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-05984-3. For a thoughtful commentary on the topic, see Tom Oliver, “Nature: How Do You Put a Value on Something That Has Infinite Worth,” The Conversation, February 5, 2021, https://theconversation.com/nature-how-do-you-put-a-price-on-something-that-has-infinite-worth-154704.
 . World Economic Forum, “Nature Risk Rising: Why the Crisis Engulfing Nature Matters for Business and the Economy,” January 19,
 . Robert Costanza et. al., “Changes in the Global Value of Ecosystem Services,” Global Environmental Change 26 (May 2014), 152–158, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0959378014000685.
 . Sir Partha Dasgupta, The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review, abridged version (London: HM Treasury, 2021)
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/957292/Dasgupta_Review_-_Abridged_Version.pdf. The Stern Review was a landmark study of the economic consequences of climate change, published in 2006. See “Stern Review Final Report¸” UK National Archives, archived on April 7, 2010, accessible at https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ukgwa/20100407172811/https:/www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/stern_review_report.htm.
 . UN Environment Programme, “Beyond GDP: Making Nature Count in the Shift to Sustainability,” February 7, 2022, https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/story/beyond-gdp-making-nature-count-shift-sustainability.
 . See the Natural Capital Protocol developed by the Capitals Coalition, accessible at https://capitalscoalition.org/capitals-approach/natural-capital-protocol/?fwp_filter_tabs=guide_supplement..”.
 . UN Statistics Division, “Global Assessment of Environmental-Economic Accounting and Supporting Statistics 2020,” March
 . Dasgupta, The Economics of Biodiversity, 39–41..”.
 . “U.N. Secretary General: ‘Making Peace with Nature Is the Defining Challenge of the Twenty-First Century,’” United Nations Climate Change, December 2, 2020, https://unfccc.int/news/un-secretary-general-making-peace-with-nature-is-the-defining-task-of-the-21st-century#:~:text=Pointing%20out%20the%20dire%20current,task%20of%20the%2021st%20century..
 . Edward O. Wilson, Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life (New York: W. W. Norton, 2016).
 . Patrick, “The International Order Isn’t Ready for the Climate Crisis.”.
 . Stewart Patrick and Kyle F. Evanoff, “50 Years after ‘Earthrise,’ We Are Racing Toward ‘Earthset,’” CNN, December 23, 2018
 . Patrick, “The International Order Isn’t Ready for the Climate Crisis.”.