New policy design needed to tackle global environmental threat, according to report

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A pioneering new report has devised a seven-point plan to help policymakers devise new, coherent and collaborative strategies to tackle the greatest global environmental threats.

A team of international researchers, including experts from the Land, Environment, Economics and Policy (LEEP) Institute at the University of Exeter, has examined how politicians and legislators can develop a new way to tackle the growing threat of climate change.

The perspective piece, which is published as the cover article in Nature Sustainability, comes in response to advice from leading scientists, suggesting that the on the environment are already tipping the world into a new geologically significant era.

Called the Anthropocene, this new era is defined by the effect human-kind has already caused on Earth, from mass extinctions of plant and animal species, polluted oceans and altered atmosphere.

In the new report, the scientists argue that while policies are available, there also needs to be a new way to tackle the geographical, boundary, spatial, ecological and socio-political complexities of the issue; and that will require working together across disciplines.

Professor Ian Bateman of LEEP and co-author of the paper said: "The paper shows that the integrated nature of the planetary boundary problems requires an integrated response.

"Traditional policies tend to be highly piecemeal, highly inefficient, prone to failure and can even be counterproductive. Such policies take vital resources from key areas while providing short term sticking-plaster efforts for high visibility, often politically motivated causes."

Recent research into the Anthropocene has suggested that there are multiple threats to the resilience of the Earth systems.

While the report acknowledges that there are no 'simple solutions', it does outline seven guiding principles to help tackle the growing environmental threat brought by man-made climate change.

These include selecting existing, robust policies to help formulate policy decisions, the need for decisions to be made consistently across regional, national and global boundaries, and a more conclusive look at the true extent that the environment is being impacted.

The report is authored by Professor Bateman, Dr. Donna Carless and Amanda Robinson from Exeter, alongside some of the world's leading researchers in the field.

These include acclaimed natural scientists Professor Johan Rockström (Stockholm Resilience Centre) and Professor Will Steffen (Australian National University) - who pioneered the planetary boundary and Anthropocene concepts—and eminent environmental economists including Professor Thomas Sterner (University of Gothenburg), Professor Edward Barbier (Colorado State University), Professor Carolyn Fischer (Resources for the Future, Washington) and Professor Stephen Polasky (University of Minnesota).

Together the team undertook the first unified assessment of the policy options for tackling the challenges of the Anthropocene. These include the integrated global problems of climate change; the pollution of air, land, freshwater and sea; and the rapid loss of genetic diversity around the world.

"Policy design for the Anthropocene" is published in Nature Sustainability on January 10, 2019.

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Citation: New policy design needed to tackle global environmental threat, according to report (2019, January 11) retrieved 18 July 2019 from
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Jan 11, 2019
So, world government will solve all our problems.

Jan 11, 2019
looks like somebodies are looking for the ultimate ego trip

Jan 12, 2019
Unless you'd prefer "sewage mobs" of enraged landowners whose yards have been flooded by their septic tanks overflowing due to AGCC-driven sea level rise, or a nuclear war between India, Pakistan, and China for water rights, "world government" seems your only option.

Maybe they'll let you vote on it if you're not identified as a fundie denier, who will not be allowed a vote. Assuming of course you're not one of the ones drowned in sewage.

Jan 12, 2019
There's an economic idea I can see, that an ideal machine which produces value indefinitely has a financial value which itself approaches infinity as certainty of humanity continuing in perpetuity becomes absolute. Driven by this kind of perspective, free markets should be able to tackle problems like this. It sounds like a strange idea, but what's stranger is the idea that the destruction of the source of all wealth, our earth, should be viewed as profitable.

The problem is mortal actors. If markets were run by self interested AIs who saw humans as part of themselves like cells, and looked forward to a lifespan of thousands of years, the path of profit and sustainability would clearly be the same.

Jan 12, 2019
looks like somebodies are looking for the ultimate ego trip

Looks like dumbnuts snooselose (antigoracle sockpuppet) begging for another banana ?
Ever so too delusional, and no comprehension no any ability towards knowing the meaning of science and the truth.

Jan 12, 2019
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