The United Nations recently published the catalogue of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). WBGU-Co Chair Dirk Messner explains in an interview how important it is to take into account the limits of the Earth system in implementing these goals. In detail, the following planetary guard rails should be complied with:
• Limit global warming to 2°C – to avoid irreversible climatic consequences, and limit ocean acidification to 0.2 pH units – to keep the marine environment intact.
• Stop the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services – to protect the natural life-support systems.
• Stop land and soil degradation – in order not to jeopardize global food production.
• Limit the risks posed by long-lived and harmful anthropogenic substances.
• Stop the loss of phosphorus – since this element is the limiting factor in food production.