Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper TI 2018-039/VIII
Using IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2016v2) data, I calculate an expected extinction rate for the coming century that is 759 to 7,582 times the natural background rate. Extinction rates exceed the planetary boundary formulated by Rockström et al. (2009) nearly everywhere (521 out of 538 regions) and do so beyond the zone of uncertainty introduced by Steffen et al. (2015) in 329 regions (or 51.5 percent of land surface). I show that species extinction increases with population density and GDP per capita, and while I cannot claim causal links, my findings suggest that the conservation of nature requires degrowth or at least a transition to a steady state economy.
Biodiversity species extinction planetary boundaries steady state degrowth