IOS Longtermism Platform Member Spotlight: Frank Biermann on long-term political challenges in the Anthropocene

Frank Biermann is a research professor of Global Sustainability Governance with the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University. He is an internationally leading scholar of global institutions and organizations in the sustainability domain.

What does 'longtermism' mean to you?

"The political challenges of the Anthropocene are inherently long-term. We are dealing with political and economic structures of inequality and exploitation that have been built up over many centuries in the past, and that need to be rebuilt and restructured. Yet, we are also dealing with major decisions for the future long-term evolution of the entire planetary system – an evolutionary process that is shaped by political actions taken over the coming two decades, from the urgently needed phase-out of fossil fuels to the effective preservation of biological diversity.

These long-term political challenges are at the core of the global research network on Earth System Governance, which has been strongly supported since 2018 by Utrecht University. In this Earth System Governance research alliance, hundreds of scholars worldwide collaborate to provide critical analysis and to shape political solutions for the major long-term challenges of our time.

Here at Utrecht University, we look forward to continuing our global collaboration for scientific research, jointly with societal stakeholders from local to global levels, towards the many global economic and political transformations that are urgently needed."

Stay tuned for more spotlights on the core members of the Longtermism & Institutional Change platform and how this idea shapes their perspectives and research endeavours.