In this paper, we attempt to contribute to understanding the concept of ‘planetary justice.’ Rather than advancing a specific philosophical vision, we attempt to illuminate the theoretical landscape by highlighting a range of distinctions, decision-points, and stakes that are at play in navigating issues of planetary justice. We consider the range of reasons and values that matter for planetary justice, including those related to humans, non-human animals, and non-sentient nature, and complicate this backdrop with another set of distinctions and decision points one must grapple with in order to come to any substantive position or recommend any action on the basis of planetary justice. After surveying some of the leading contemporary approaches to justice to see how they interface with the challenges posed by the concept of planetary justice, we end by distilling why all of this matters for scholars engaged in Earth System Governance research.

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