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Policy design for the Anthropocene

Journal article
Authors Thomas Sterner
Edward B. Barbier
Ian Bateman
Inge van den Bijgaart
Anne Sophie Crépin
Ottmar Edenhofer
Carolyn Fischer
Wolfgang Habla
John Hassler
Olof Johansson-Stenman
Andreas Lange
Stephen Polasky
Johan Rockström
Henrik G. Smith
Will Steffen
Gernot Wagner
James E. Wilen
Francisco Alpízar
Christian Azar
Donna Carless
Carlos Chávez
Jessica Coria
Gustav Engström
Sverker C. Jagers
Gunnar Köhlin
Åsa Löfgren
Håkan Pleijel
Amanda Robinson
Published in Nature Sustainability
Volume 2
Pages 14-21
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Department of Economics, Environmental Economics Unit
Department of Political Science
Pages 14-21
Language en
Keywords Anthropocene, Planetary boundaries, Policy
Subject categories Economics, Environmental Sciences


© 2019, Springer Nature Limited. Today, more than ever, ‘Spaceship Earth’ is an apt metaphor as we chart the boundaries for a safe planet1. Social scientists both analyse why society courts disaster by approaching or even overstepping these boundaries and try to design suitable policies to avoid these perils. Because the threats of transgressing planetary boundaries are global, long-run, uncertain and interconnected, they must be analysed together to avoid conflicts and take advantage of synergies. To obtain policies that are effective at both international and local levels requires careful analysis of the underlying mechanisms across scientific disciplines and approaches, and must take politics into account. In this Perspective, we examine the complexities of designing policies that can keep Earth within the biophysical limits favourable to human life.

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