Establishing thresholds and indicators for environmental sustainability

The European Commission has repeatedly underlined the need to respect the limits of the planet’s natural resources, including the capacity to provide renewable resources and absorb pollutants. So where are the “danger zones” before the tipping points (thresholds) that lead to potential long-term or irreversible consequences? While numerous indicators of sustainability exist, very few of them suggest or monitor threshold phenomena.

In a consortium with the Ecologic Institute (Berlin) and the Institute for Environmental Studies of the University Amsterdam, SERI is doing a study to help the European Commission (DG Environment) identify a set of thresholds as well as specific indicators useful for monitoring unsustainable trends caused by human activity that could lead to tipping-point phenomena.

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