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Planetary Boundaries and Resource Efficiency - A Science Policy Dialogue

Potsdam, 29 February 2016, 09:30 to 16:45 Steigenberger Hotel Sanssouci Potsdam, Allee nach Sanssouci 1

The Planetary Boundaries framework does not directly address the issue of resource efficiency, but identifies nine Earth System conditions vital for sustainable development. The specific means to stay within this safe operating space are deliberately left open, as the intention is to provide guardrails, not specific pathways. But for the political realm, the question of operationalization of the Planetary Boundaries is central: how is the PB framework relevant for resource use, management and governance? What added value does the PB framework and discourse provide for achieving resource efficiency goals? In return, the PB framework can benefit from existing scientific insights on natural resource efficiency and related concrete political experiences and requirements.

This event brings together leading Planetary Boundaries and natural resource scientists and German and European policy makers. The main objective is to explore the inter-linkages between resource efficiency and the safe operating space as delineated by the Planetary Boundaries, addressing questions such as:

  • How can improved resource efficiency help to stay within the safe operating space and protect the Earth’s life support system, i.e. ensuring human well-being and development, while reducing pressure on natural resources and the environment (decoupling)?
  • How can the Planetary Boundaries discourse, narrative and emerging scientific data on global guardrails and public goods support the resource efficiency agenda (e.g. the German resource efficiency program, the EU flagship for a resource efficient Europe), environmental goal setting (“what would INDCs beyond climate look like?) and more broadly a green economy and sustainability transitions?

This workshop is part of our collaboration with adelphi research, the Federal Ministry of the Environment and UBA on the role of the planetary boundaries discourse in co-shaping transformative environmental policies.

Program of the workshop

Planetary Boundaries Research Network

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