United Nations General Assembly Hall: In a recent speech to the Leaders' Dialogue on Climate Change, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged global society to stand behind science on planetary boundaries. Photo: UN Photo/Mark Garten

Planetary Boundaries research gains further momentum

Ban Ki-moon urges world leaders to apply planetary boundaries thinking

The research on identifying critical planetary boundaries and how we can create a "safe operating space for humanity" has gained increasing momentum since its launch in September 2009.

Policy makers and the world's leading scientists on global sustainability are now jointly working to take the message to the highest decision-making level.

"Help us defend the science"
Further evidence of this is the recent statements by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who, during a speech to the Leaders' Dialogue on Climate Change, urged global society to stand behind science on planetary boundaries.
"Help us defend the science that shows we are destabilizing our climate and stretching planetary boundaries to a perilous degree," said the Secretary-General.

He told the leaders that he was counting on their commitment to agreement at the upcoming COP17 in Durban, South Africa, later this year, and at the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil next year. Read the entire speech here.

Nobel Laureate Symposium
The UN Secretary-General's plea was also followed up by Tarja Halonen, President of Finland.
In a speech at the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on 21 September, Halonen stated the commitment by the newly-appointed UN High-level Panel on Global Sustainability "to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality, make growth inclusive, and production and consumption more sustainable, while combating climate change and respecting the range of other planetary boundaries". Read the entire speech here.
Halonen's statement is also a direct reflection of the recommendations made during the 3rd Nobel Laureate Symposium which in May 2011 gathered more than twenty Nobel Laureates, a number of leading policy makers and some of the world's most renowned thinkers and experts on global sustainability.

See TED Talk video with Johan Rockström introducing the planetary boundaries:

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