Identifying a Safe and Just Corridor for People and the Planet

Johan Rockström, Joyeeta Gupta, Timothy M. Lenton, Dahe Qin, Steven J. Lade, Jesse F. Abrams, Lisa Jacobson, Juan C. Rocha, Caroline Zimm, Xuemei Bai, Govindasamy Bala, Stefan Bringezu, Wendy Broadgate, Stuart E. Bunn, Fabrice DeClerck, Kristie L. Ebi, Peng Gong, Chris Gordon, Norichika Kanie, Diana M. LivermanNebojsa Nakicenovic, David Obura, Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Peter H. Verburg, Detlef P. van Vuuren, Ricarda Winkelmann

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

Abstract

Keeping the Earth system in a stable and resilient state, to safeguard Earth's life support systems while ensuring that Earth's benefits, risks, and related responsibilities are equitably shared, constitutes the grand challenge for human development in the Anthropocene. Here, we describe a framework that the recently formed Earth Commission will use to define and quantify target ranges for a “safe and just corridor” that meets these goals. Although “safe” and “just” Earth system targets are interrelated, we see safe as primarily referring to a stable Earth system and just targets as being associated with meeting human needs and reducing exposure to risks. To align safe and just dimensions, we propose to address the equity dimensions of each safe target for Earth system regulating systems and processes. The more stringent of the safe or just target ranges then defines the corridor. Identifying levers of social transformation aimed at meeting the safe and just targets and challenges associated with translating the corridor to actors at multiple scales present scope for future work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2020EF001866
JournalEarth's Future
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Keywords

  • Earth system
  • equity
  • human development
  • stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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