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 | 2018-09-18
Why the concept of stewardship offers a platform for collaboration and dialogue between actors, even with differing perspectives
Research news | 2018-09-14
The world needs a much more ambitious work plan to halt species loss and restore biodiversity. Here are three steps to get there
Research news | 2018-09-13
Digital revolution and market forces poised to drive economic transformation away from fossil fuels, but not without the right policy mix and bold climate leadership
Research news | 2018-09-12
Centre launches new online platform for resilience assessments, representing a major innovation in resilience practice
Research news | 2018-09-06
Water and land governance need to consider effects of distant land-use change, because local land-use decisions are not as local as we have always assumed
General news | 2018-09-06
Ten of the world’s largest seafood companies announce they will increase their efforts to strengthen sustainable practices in the seafood industry