Continuing support of the Earth Commission’s work



Published 2024-05-16

The Earth Commission’s second assessment on Safe and Just Earth System Boundaries

The Global Challenges Foundation will continue to support the groundbreaking work of the Earth Commission. The Earth Commission is a broad group of international researchers from the natural and social sciences—who have launched the Safe and Just Earth System Boundaries for climate, biodiversity, freshwater, nutrients, and aerosols. These quantified boundaries were published in Nature and provide one of the most holistic assessments of Earth’s limits. Their research marks a significant advancement in understanding how to protect people and the planet.

Building on this solid foundation, the Earth Commission’s second assessment will refine and expand the work on Safe and Just Earth System Boundaries. It will also expand the safe and just boundaries for new Earth System domains such as Novel Entities (including toxic substances) and the Ocean. This second phase will increase its focus on the just transformations necessary across all of society and highlight the justice, governance, and economic requirements for those transformations.

“We are very impressed by the work of the Earth Commission’s first phase in identifying the safe and just operating space for people and the planet. This robust scientific foundation is pivotal for the Foundation’s work on improving global governance to more effectively mitigate global catastrophic risks, and we are happy to be able to continue the support of the second phase,” says Linda Burenius, Head of Climate and Sustainability at the Global Challenges Foundation.

“The Global Challenges Foundation has been a critical supporter of the Earth Commission for its first assessment, which defined novel Safe and Just Earth System Boundaries, guardrails for a stable and resilient planet. I am delighted that the Foundation has decided to invest a three-year grant for the second assessment of the Earth Commission’s work”, says Wendy Broadgate, Executive Director of the Earth Commission, which is hosted by the global research network Future Earth.

“To find the right policy and governance in protecting life on the planet we need to know what is at stake. The EC provides us with important parts of these facts, says Jens Orback, Executive Director at the Global Challenges Foundation”.

Learn more about the Earth Commission’s work.



  • Fatima Denton, Professor and Director of the Institute for Natural Resources in Africa at the United Nations University (Ghana)
  • Johan Rockström, Professor and Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Professor in Earth System Science at the University of Potsdam (Germany)

Earth Commissioners

  • Xuemei Bai, Distinguished Professor, Australian National University (Australia)
  • Govindasamy Bala, Professor, Indian Institute of Science (India)
  • Stuart Bunn, Professor, Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University (Australia)
  • Fabrice DeClerk, Science Director, Sr Scientist EAT, Alliance of Bioversity (France)
  • Joyeeta Gupta, Full professor of environment and development in the Global South at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research of the University of Amsterdam and IHE Institute for Water Education (The Netherlands)
  • Carl Folke, Director of the Beijer Institute, Founder and Chair of the Scientific Committee of the Anthropocene Laboratory, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and Founder and Chair of the Board of the Stockholm Resilience Centre (Sweden)
  • Tim Lenton, Founding Director of the Global Systems Institute at the University of Exeter and Chair in Climate Change and Earth System Science (UK)
  • David Obura, Director, CORDIO East Africa – Coral reef ecology and sustainability, Chair IPBES (2023-2026) (Kenya)
  • Steven Lade, ARC Future Fellow at the Fenner School of Environment & Society, Australian National University; Docent (Associate Professor) at the Stockholm Resilience Centre (Australia)
  • Pablo Marquet, Full Professor in the Department of Ecology at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, External Professor, Santa Fe Institute and Associate Scientist, Center for Mathematical Modeling (Chile)
  • Aditi Mukherji, Director, Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Impact Action Platform of the CGIAR (Kenya)
  • Taikan Oki, Special Advisor to the President, Professor at Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo (Japan)
  • Peter Verburg, Professor, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Swiss Federal Institute WSL (The Netherlands)
  • Ricarda Winkelmann, Founding Director, Max Planck Institute of Geoanthropology. Professor, University of Potsdam and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (Germany)
  • Miriam Diamond, Professor, University of Toronto (Canada)
  • Juan Camilo Cárdenas, Professor of Economics at the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia and the University of Massachusetts Amherst (USA), Director of the Sustainable Development Goals Center for Latin America and the Caribbean (Colombia)
  • Laura Pereira, Associate Professor, Sustainability Transformations and Futures at the Global Change Institute at Wits University, Researcher, Stockholm Resilience Centre (South Africa)
  • Keywan Riahi, Director of the Energy, Climate, and Environment Program at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) (Austria)
  • Rashid Sumaila, University Killam Professor and Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Interdisciplinary Ocean and Fisheries Economics at the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, and the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, University of British Columbia (Canada)
  • Detlef van Vuuren, Project leader of the IMAGE integrated assessment modeling team at the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and professor in Integrated Assessment of Global Environmental Change at the Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University (The Netherlands)
  • Cunde Xiao, Director of State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University (China)
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