Our ten global limits

The Planetary Quotas are ten global limits for human activity that will allow us to return to and remain within safe environmental limits - the Planetary Boundaries.

The Planetary Quotas complement rather than replace the Planetary Boundaries. The Planetary Boundaries can be seen as a health check for the planet - they give us a sense of the magnitude and urgency of the situation.


However they do not translate into figures that make sense for policy or action.

The Planetary Quotas answer the very important question: “What can you do to help?” You as a person, you as an employee, you as a city government, you as a CEO.

The Quotas can be scaled and then compare to the environmental impacts of human activity from individual and community activities, to business and sectorial operations, and city and national governments.

Carbon Dioxide Emissions

CO2 is a greenhouse gas which means it traps heat into the atmosphere.

Methane & Nitrous Oxide Emissions

Methane and nitrous oxide are two other “long-lived” greenhouse gases.


The amount of forestland on the planet is critical to the health of the planet.

Ozone Depleting Substances

Ozone depleting substances such as CFCs created a hole in the Earth’s ozone layer.

Emissions of

Aerosols are small particles in the air. They cause smog and acid rain.

Biodiversity Loss

Human activity can impact biodiversity in many ways including disrupting habitat.

Water Consumption

The water we consume directly from the tap is a small fraction of our total water consumption.

Imperishable Waste

Humans have created hundreds of thousands of “novel entities'.

Reactive Nitrogen

Reactive nitrogen is a necessary component to grow food.


Phosphorus is also necessary to grow food. It is present in animal and plant matter.

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Dr Kate Meyer


Tel: +64 22 6566213