The next 50 years

Page Last modified 13 Apr 2011
1 min read

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.


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