Global catastrophic risk and planetary boundaries: The relationship to global targets and disaster risk reduction

Published on 01 May 2022


This contributing paper presents a literature review on the Sustainable Development Goals and the Sendai Framework, global catastrophic risk, and planetary boundaries before undertaking a scenario analysis. The scenario analysis considers worlds where global catastrophic risk is high and low, and planetary boundaries have not been crossed and have been crossed respectively. This gives rise to four scenarios: Earth Under Uncertainty, Global Collapse, Stable Earth, and Earth Under Threat. In all of these scenarios except for Stable Earth the achievement of global targets and accompanying frameworks is negatively impacted. Furthermore, in the absence of change, scenarios Earth Under Uncertainty and Earth Under Threat tend towards that of Global Collapse.

From the scenarios, and assessing the possible achievements of global targets and frameworks, policy recommendations are proposed. It is recommended that both preventive and reactive policy be developed, with preventive prioritised due to the lower resource cost. It is presented that in order to ensure disaster risk reduction continues, a goal, with targets, should be made for the planetary boundaries in the next version of the Sustainable Development Goals, and that global catastrophic risk is incorporated into the targets. Furthermore, it is recommended that in order for disaster risk reduction to be as effective as possible, appropriate targets should be incorporated into the next generation of the Sendai Framework.

Read full report

Subscribe to our mailing list to get our latest updates