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Exploring a Good Life Within Planetary Boundaries: From Pathways to Policy

Dr Daniel O'Neill, School of Earth and Environment, Faculty of Environment

Responsive Mode Impact Fund

Many countries have improved basic needs provision over the past decades, but hundreds of millions of people still do not have enough to eat, and billions lack access to basic services, such as improved sanitation and electricity. At the same time, the environmental pressures of human activity have already crossed planetary boundaries for climate change, biosphere integrity, land-system change, and nutrient cycles. If nations are to provide conditions for their citizens to flourish within planetary boundaries, a better understanding of the relations between resource use and well-being is needed to achieve transformative pathways.

Our research represents the first attempt to measure historical trends and relationships in national social and environmental performance using the doughnut-shaped “safe and just space” framework, and to use these data to explore plausible future scenarios. The aim of this project is to translate these results into easily accessible tools and materials for specific audiences, namely policymakers, activists, the media, and the general public. These tools and materials, which will include interactive data visualisations, country fact sheets, and outreach materials will be codesigned with four organisations on the frontlines of action to create healthy economies where people can live a good life that respects planetary boundaries.

More information on this project is available here

Dr Daniel O'Neill can be contacted by email: