Authors: Logan Richardson*, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Furman University, Greenville, SC, Lilian Pungas, Institute for Political Ecology, Zagreb, Croatia, Mladen Domazet, Institute for Political Ecology, Zagreb, Croatia, Branko Ančić, Institute for Social Research in Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia, Brannon Andersen, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Furman University, Greenville, SC, John Quinn, Biology, Furman University, Greenville, SC
Topics: Anthropocene, Coupled Human and Natural Systems, Human-Environment Geography
Keywords: Sustainability science, Planetary boundaries, Social foundations, Croatia
Session Type: Poster
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded
Consumption of energy and materials has increased exponentially across the globe since the Industrial Revolution, resulting in environmental degradation without diminution of critical social problems. Tracking environmental and social sustainability indicators is crucial in order for humanity to simultaneously reduce environmental impacts and improve well-being. This study creates a framework for defining the safe operating space for humanity in Croatia by setting globally just biophysical and social thresholds, largely following Raworth's doughnut model. The research also considers public perceptions regarding sustainability and how indicators change over time to understand the barriers to achieving sustainability targets. Croatia, as an emerging economy, could either follow the trends of accelerated catch-up with the Global North or shift towards sustainability. Planetary boundaries and social foundations were downscaled to the national level by following established methodologies. Results indicate that Croatia is comparatively socially sustainable but not absolutely environmentally sustainable. For example, Croatia surpasses the average dietary energy requirement by 21% but annually emits carbon dioxide 144% above the proposed national boundary. The survey results, on the other hand, indicate a fairly low satisfaction of social factors like democracy and inequality and a higher general awareness of the environmental limits of development than is the case with wealthier European countries. Croatia is on the verge of catching up with the environmental impact averages of the Global North, but there is also popular support for change. Setting sustainability targets and measuring progress should allow Croatia to develop policies that will create a pathway towards sustainability.