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.
Research news | 2018-07-10
The World in 2050 initiative launches new report outlining synergies and benefits that render the goals achievable
Educational news | 2018-07-02
LEAP our leadership programme designed for changemakers that want to lead social-ecological transformations to sustainability. Application deadline is 5 August 2018.
Research news | 2018-06-27
Overfishing, fractured international relationships and political conflicts loom as fish migrate more unpredictably because of climate change. Here is how to deal with it
Research news | 2018-06-26
Profit-maximizing approaches are most likely to produce outcomes that harm people or the environment. But it depends on the circumstances whether a sustainable or a safe approach is most suitable, new study argues
General news | 2018-06-20
Will lead a redesign of the organisational structure at the centre
Research news | 2018-06-20
New book chapter looks into the economic, cultural and ecological reasons why some people leave the fisheries and aquaculture sector, and what could be done to reverse the trend