Nine planetary boundaries have been proposed, capturing essential biophysical processes that sustain the Earth System and its biosphere in an accommodating state for humanity. Drawing on economics literature, we propose conditions under which remaining within these boundaries is in line with economic policy.
We assert that pervasive uncertainties combined with impacts of trespassing planetary boundaries clearly legitimate using safe minimum standards or precautionary approaches. Moreover, information about the risk structure of these processes, including potential large-scale regime shifts, could help refine policies for how to relate to the zones of uncertainty of the boundaries.
Planetary boundaries may be interpreted as "growth within limits" especially in relation to the biophysical expansion of the human dimension. Here, we picture them as warning signs creating incentives for shifting development into new directions, new pathways, where growt in human well-being is the focus rather than growth in GDP.
In this sense, we reiterate the framework of ecological economics of sustainable scale (i.e., developing within planetary boundaries), efficient allocation, and fair distribution, and emphasize the need for "biosphere
economics" to help navigate globalization within the capacity of the biosphere as the complex adaptive system it truly is.
General news | 2017-12-12
See video from eminar with Professor Rashid Sumaila, one of the world’s most innovative researchers on the future of the oceans
Research news | 2017-11-30
The PECS-II conference showcased place-based research and how it can help us work towards global sustainability in the Anthropocene
Research news | 2017-11-28
How urban greening and civic ecology projects can improve human well-being and restore crucial ecosystem services
Research news | 2017-11-27
What plantain farmers in Costa Rica can teach us about the inconsistent links between access to ecosystem services and well-being
Research news | 2017-11-23
Centre science director well established among world’s most top-cited and influential scientists
Research news | 2017-11-21
Large-scale changes in Arctic marine food web can be expected within 50 years, some good, but in the long run several critical