Planetary boundaries: global guardrails for humanity

To operationalize the risks, CERAC makes use of the planetary boundaries framework, as originally defined by Johan Rockström et al. in 2009 and updated in different scientific publications.

This framework consists of nine planetary boundaries within which humanity can continue to develop and thrive for generations to come, a so-called ‘safe operating space for humanity’.

Crossing these boundaries increases the risk of generating large-scale and irreversible environmental changes threatening humanity.

Read more about the planetary boundaries framework.

In CERAC's first project, we will downscale the global planetary boundaries framework to the Belgian context. It will define what a ‘safe and just operating space within the planetary boundaries’ concretely means for Belgium, what our environmental footprint is in light of these boundaries, and which concrete hazards are related to transgressing them.

The report will be published on CERAC's website by May 2024.

National Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss Risk Assessment

CERAC is preparing Belgium's first assessment of climate and biodiversity risks, addressing the National Security Strategy's concerns on threats to the nation's well-being, economy, and nature. This will inform policymakers to effectively manage and mitigate these risks.

The assessment will be guided by the following questions:

  • What are the main risks for Belgium in the mid to long term?
  • Which risks or (sub)sectors are priorities for future adaptation actions?
  • Which (sub)sectors/risks require further research?

The framework will be based on existing studies and guidelines, including the ISO 14091 ‘Adaptation to climate change - Guidelines on vulnerability, impacts and risk assessment’, the European Climate Risk Assessment and national climate risk assessments from other EU countries.

The final report will be available in 2025, but the methodological framework and some intermediary results will be communicated via this website in the second half of 2024.