“Humanity has been scaling up its niche, changing the climate and the species mix around the world since the end of the last ice age generating a new geological epoch of the Anthropocene. The global scale of human activities is now pressing against the planetary boundaries that constitute the conditions that have allowed humanity to flourish over the last ten thousand years. Rapid changes in the earth system mean that old assumptions of stable borders as the basis of sovereignty have to be reconsidered. Ironically the current phase of globalization is re-bordering many things, extending property and jurisdictions in numerous new ways that may prevent effective adaptation to climate change. Securing the fossil fuel economy remains a policy priority, and with this goes a politics of trying to cope with global scale disasters. All of which makes sustainability more difficult as geopolitical rivalries shape contemporary global policy. The Anthropocene has to be understood as the new context for sustainability policy in the latest phase of globalization.”

– Simon Dalby, Sustainability Lead / Wilfred Laurier University.

A key interest for researchers in this area is which environmental phenomena are governed by territorial strategies with definable borders, and which ones aren’t, and what forms do new structures of international environmental governance take.

BIG Research Reports & Publications on the Sustainability theme:

Environmental Refugee: Truth or Myth? - #30
Andrada Mihai

Geopolitics in the Anthropocene - #45
Simon Dalby

Canadian geopolitical culture: Climate change and sustainability
Simon Dalby
in Special Section: Borders, borderlands, and bordering in Canada: The Canadian Geographer: Vol 63, No 1 Spring 2019

Contextual Changes in Earth History: From the Holocene to the Anthropocene — Implications for Sustainable Development and for Strategies of Sustainable Transition
Simon Dalby
in Handbook on Sustainability Transition and Sustainable Peace, 2016

Climate Security in the Anthropocene: ‘Scaling up’ the Human Niche
Simon Dalby
in Reimagining Climate Change, 2016

Climate Change, Security and Sustainability 
Simon Dalby, Susan Horton, Rianne Mahon and Diana Thomaz
in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals: Global Governance Challenges, 2019