The overexploitation of resources is pushing the environmental systems of our planet Earth to the limits of stability. Where and to what extent is shown by the concept of Planetary Boundaries, which has also been incorporated into the goals of international climate policy. The concept looks at nine ecological dimensions that are critical to the Earth system. It further illustrates that each of these dimensions has a carrying capacity limit which, if exceeded, would have serious consequences for humanity.
In 2015, the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) commissioned a pilot study to assess the extent to which Switzerland’s footprint is compatible with the planet’s carrying capacity limits. According to the results of this study, three dimensions in particular have critical dimensions. These are the climate footprint, the biodiversity footprint and the one related to the nitrogen cycle.
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