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Planetary boundaries: Challenges for science, civil society and politics


Keppner,  Benno
External Organizations;

Kahlenborn,  Walter
External Organizations;


Hoff,  Holger
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;


Lucht,  Wolfgang
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;


Gerten,  Dieter
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

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Keppner, B., Kahlenborn, W., Hoff, H., Lucht, W., Gerten, D. (2020): Planetary boundaries: Challenges for science, civil society and politics, (UBA Texte ; 183/2020), Dessau-Roßlau : Umweltbundesamt, 328 p.

Cite as: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_25109
The planetary boundaries concept was formulated in 2009 by an international research group led by Johan Rockström,and revised in 2015 by Will Steffen and colleagues(Rockström et al. 2009; Steffen et al. 2015b). The concept emerged against the background of the Anthropocene–a period of timeasso-ciated with rapidly growing environmental pressures,and increasing degradation and scarcity of global environmental resources,which intensifies risks for the stability and functioning of the Earth system. The human burden on the global environment and ecosystems has reached a level where sud-den non-linear systemic changes can no longer be ruled out. The UFOPLAN project 'Planetary Boundaries –Challengesfor Science, Civil Society and Politics' (FKZ 3714 100 0) addresses the challenge of operationalizing the planetary boundaries concept. The project analyzesthe requirements that the concept places on politics, science, civil society and business, with the aim ofinformingthe political implementation of the concept. In addition to cross-sectional papers that deal with topics of significance for various political processes (e.g., the potential for environmen-tal communication, risks associated withtransgressing boundaries and a methodology for operational-ization), political focus topics were addressed. The political focus topics addressquestionsof how the planetary boundaries conceptcan be applied to specific environmental policymakingareas (e.g.,the formulation of a national nitrogen strategy and the Integrated Environmental Programme 2030). Important next steps for the operationalization of the concept include thestronger inclusion of plane-tary boundaries in sustainability strategies and a reorientation of science fundingtoward the inte-grated development of the concept.