The next 50 years
Major environmental challenges remain. The unsustainable development of some key economic sectors is still the major barrier to further improvements.
- We face increasing urbanisation and land abandonment.
- Climate change is already here.
- Progress on energy demand management is slow.
- We are healthier, but exposure to pollutants remains.
- We are depleting our natural resources.
- We are losing biodiversity at an alarming rate.
- We are increasingly exporting our environmental impacts to other continents.
Technology still has a vast potential to reduce environmental impacts. European policy-makers are however coming to realise that widespread behavioural changes are required in order to move towards a sustainable society.
If we want to seriously address Europe’s sustainability, we need a long view, far beyond two or three legislative cycles. Climate change, globalisation and demographic change are just a few factors that will profoundly change the context of policy-making in the future.
We need to take the possibility of different outcomes into account when making strategic decisions.
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe’s environment.
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