New joint report highlights transformative actions to safeguard Global Commons within Planetary Boundaries

April 12, 2024

The Center for Global Commons (CGC) at the University of Tokyo Institute for Future Initiatives, in collaboration with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), has released a new report on Global Commons Stewardship. The report highlights urgent need for holistic transformations in energy usage, land utilization, production, and consumption patterns to prevent further degradation of the Earth’s vital biophysical systems and keep them within the safe operating space of planetary boundaries by 2050.

The detailed analysis presented in the report reveals that without significant adjustments to current policies, key ecological systems that underpin human prosperity—such as nitrogen flow, land system change, and biosphere integrity—are at risk of irreversible damage. Additionally, without urgent action, climate change and ocean acidification are likely to cross their planetary boundaries within the next few decades.

The report outlines several strategies that could collectively reverse negative trends affecting Global Commons (the biophysical systems that as a whole keep the Earth System stable and resilient). These strategies include a rapid decarbonization of the electricity sector by renewable energy deployment, electrification of public transport as well as a shift to sustainable diets, halving food waste and increasing material efficiency in the steel, cement and chemical industry. The report finds that an integrated, comprehensive design of policies is needed to safeguard the Global Commons effectively.

CGC leads the Global Commons Stewardship (GCS) project, developing a conceptual framework and actionable strategies for the stewardship of the Global Commons. This collaborative effort with PIK underscores the importance of interdisciplinary research and modeling to understand the complex interactions between human activities and the Earth’s ecological thresholds.

The report serves as a call for a cohesive approach among policymakers, industries, and communities globally to enact the changes necessary to protect the planet for future generations. It emphasizes the role of international cooperation and policy innovation in achieving sustainable global development within planetary boundaries.

About the Center for Global Commons (CGC)
The Center for Global Commons (CGC) at the University of Tokyo Institute for Future Initiatives, was inaugurated in August 2020, embarking on forging a framework for the stewardship of the Global Commons. The CGC's mission is to promote a multidisciplinary approach to inform policy and encourage collective action across disciplines and sectors for fostering sustainable development within planetary boundaries.
The University of Tokyo Institute for Future Initiatives
Center for Global Commons
E-mail: info.cgc[at]
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