Measuring the Doughnut: A good life for all is possible within planetary boundaries

Summary

  • Humanity is currently on a path towards ecological instability due to unprecedented resource consumption while many people still lack basic needs.
  • The study shows that it is theoretically possible to satisfy the basic needs of 10.4 billion people within ecological limits through a fossil-free energy system and a vegan diet.
  • To achieve a safe and just operating space, carbon dioxide emissions, biodiversity, Phosphorus, and Nitrogen emissions need to be further reduced.
  • The study highlights the importance of large-scale transformations in all sectors and dietary changes to ensure safe climate conditions.
  • The study aims to determine if it is possible to provide decent living for everyone within ecological limits.

The purpose of this study is to find out if humanity can fulfil basic needs for all humans without destabilizing the Earth system. This information is relevant for identifying pathways to futures in which all humans can live good lives without compromising the livelihoods of future generations. Our results show that it is theoretically possible to satisfy the basic needs of 10.4 billion people within ecological limits. However, large-scale transformations in all sectors and dietary changes are necessary to guarantee safe climate conditions.

Significance Statement


Read at ScienceDirect:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959652624008953

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