Operationalizing the concept of a safe operating space at the EU level – first steps and explorations
This study has made an initial disaggregation, allocation and benchmarking analysis to the EU-28 level, for the planetary boundaries for climate change, biosphere integrity, land systems change, freshwater use, biogeochemical flows (nitrogen and phosphorus), and novel entities (chemical pollution).
The following overarching insights relate to all PBs:
Based on equal-per capita allocation of the global safe operating space, the EU does not appear to be “living within the limits of our planet” for most of the boundaries analysed.
From a consumption-based (footprint) perspective, Europe’s per-capita contribution to the different PBs is significantly higher than the global average.
Regarding past trends, decreases in Europe’s territorial pressures are mostly outweighed by increasing environmental pressures in other world regions, thereby externalising the EU’s environmental footprint. As a result, Europe’s total consumption-based environmental performance does not show an improvement trend for most PBs.
The social and ecological impacts of pressures on PBs can be more severe in the locations to which the pressures are externalized, compared to the same pressure exerted within Europe.
Data and information limitations present challenges, but the initial PB downscaling and benchmarking has been possible using available data, and is an informative exercise for both policy implementation and future research
Research news | 2022-10-05
Centre strengthens its food system research with five new postdocs
Amid ongoing global food crises, the Stockholm Resilience Centre adds to its portfolio of food system research by hiring five new postdoctoral fellows
Research news | 2022-09-29
Recent graduates reflect on what it’s like to do a master’s at the centre
Straight from their final presentations, MSc graduates Bérénice Robaglia and Nora Giertz share insights into their master thesis projects, time at the centre and future plans.
Research news | 2022-09-28
To curb biodiversity loss, development cooperation needs a rethink
Working paper highlights the need for development cooperation to adopt complexity-aware theories of change
Research news | 2022-09-23
Civil society could be the gamechanger for climate policymaking
To make climate policies fair and effective we need to harness the power of civil society, argues centre researcher Thomas Hahn
Research news | 2022-09-19
Turning food by-products into fodder could feed a billion people
Using waste from food production to feed livestock and aquaculture could help feed more people with less
Research news | 2022-09-13
Mutual interests and benefits are no guarantee for increased collaboration
Awareness of interdependencies may not promote, but instead even inhibit, exchange and dialogue between different policy actors