Global Economic Dynamics and the Biosphere

Global Economic Dynamics and the Biosphere
(2013; Royal Swedish Academy, Stockholm; 16 staff; gedb.se)

A research project funded by the Family Erling-Persson Foundation, to address the core task and challenge of considering how to manage economic development and use of natural resources so as to maximize wellbeing within the frames set by the capacity of the biosphere. Knowledge about the interplay between global environmental change and human affairs, from local to global levels, is greatly in demand from governments, the business sector and international organizations such as the United Nations. GEDB contributes to a better understanding of this interplay by combining economic studies with a range of disciplines to produce high-quality science of relevance to society.  It builds on the recognition that social systems are intricately and inextricably linked to natural systems and embedded in the biosphere. Viewed from that perspective, any attempts to move towards sustainable futures must recognize the workings of social-ecological systems at multiple scales, with an explicit focus on economics. Staff members deliver talks and engage in activities around the world, e.g., “The environmental and health impacts of transboundary air pollution from China to the U.S.” Started as a five-year research program at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, but has been extended since then.

Programs:

  • Global Health and Biosphere Stewardship – Focuses on a way to tackle everything from “antibiotic resistance to human health, habitats, and food production”,  while working to uncover connections between environmental sustainability and global health.
  • Biosphere Finance – Focuses on studying finance and capital markets, in terms of their link to the latest research on planet Earth as a system to uncover new opportunities for “progressive social development in conjunction with the biosphere dynamics.”

Publications:

  • Annual Reports
  • News and activities
  • A large research library of books, chapters, articles, reports, etc.
  • HIGHLIGHTS:
    • Sleeping Financial Giants – Opportunities in financial leadership for climate stability – This report has two primary themes. The first is to introduce to the financial sector the notion of tipping elements and to provide a short, state-of-the-art review of the scientific knowledge surrounding this rapidly evolving field of enquiry. Second, it makes explicit the links between the investment sector and such tipping elements, and outlines a preliminary approach for how to examine such links using two cases: the Amazon rainforest and the boreal forests of Russia and Canada.

Leadership: Beatrice Crona (Executive Director)

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