Kotzé, L. et al. (2022). Planetary Integrity. In F. Biermann, T. Hickmann, & C. Sénit (Eds.), The Political Impact of the Sustainable Development Goals: Transforming Governance Through Global Goals? (pp. 140-171). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781009082945.007
This chapter asks whether the Sustainable Development Goals have advanced planetary ecological integrity, that is, strengthened policies towards the preservation of global commons at various levels of governance. We start with a brief account of the concept of planetary integrity, before engaging in a theoretical debate about the potential role of the Sustainable Development Goals in advancing planetary integrity, drawing on a literature survey. Finally, we assess the transformative potential of the goals for planetary integrity by focusing on governance interventions at international, regional, local and transnational levels. Our research shows that while the Sustainable Development Goals have raised concern about environmental protection, they do not motivate transformative change towards planetary integrity. Specifically, the literature raises doubts about the actual steering effects of the goals owing to their poor additionality with respect to existing environmental agreements, their inherent contradictions, and their weak ambition when it comes to planetary integrity.