First ‘safe and just’ Earth boundaries quantified


Report / Paper

Published 2023-05-31

New research provides guidance for leaders to operate within Earth’s finite limits. Humans are taking colossal risks with the future of civilisation and everything that lives on Earth, a new study from the Earth Commission and published in the journal Nature shows.  

In the study, safety and justice for humanity on Earth is assessed and quantified for the same control variables regulating life support and Earth stability. Therefore, justice assessed based on avoiding significant harm to people across the world, tightens the Earth system boundaries, providing even less available space for humans on Earth.

“We are in the Anthropocene, putting the stability and resilience of the entire planet at risk.

This is why, for the first time, we present quantifiable numbers and a solid scientific foundation to assess the state of our planetary health not only in terms of Earth System stability and resilience but also in terms of human wellbeing, equity and justice.”

Prof. Johan Rockström, Earth Commission Co-Chair, lead author and Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

Read the press release
climate, ecosystems, ground water, fresh water, nitrogen, biodiversity

The full article was published in the magazine Nature on 31 May, 2023

Read the article in Nature

Organisations behind the study

The research was conducted by an international team of scientists from the Earth Commission, convened by Future Earth. Future Earth is the world’s largest network of sustainability scientists, and is the scientific cornerstone of the Global Commons Alliance. The Global Challenges Foundation supports the Earth Commission. 

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