Earth System Law

Louis J. Kotzé*, Rakhyun E. Kim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


The existing body of international environmental law has been created in the context of a relatively stable and harmonious Holocene epoch. This assumed regulatory premise of Holocene stability and harmony has resulted in a collection of international environmental law norms that are unable to sufficiently address the governance challenges emanating from within the context of the Anthropocene’s complex, unstable, unpredictable, and intertwined earth system. Earth system law has recently been proposed as an alternative vision for international environmental law in the Anthropocene. Earth system law is intended to serve as an imaginative framework that can guide innovative questions regarding the difficulties posed to international environmental law in responding to the complex challenges of earth system governance, and as a roadmap for international environmental law to better address these challenges on an appropriate planetary level in the Anthropocene.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of the Anthropocene: Humans between Heritage and Future
EditorsNathanaël Wallenhorst, Christoph Wulf
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-25910-4
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2023


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