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Environment

Global megatrend update 1: Diverging global population trends

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Abstract in English: 
In 2010, the EEA produced its first assessment of global megatrends as part of its five-yearly assessment of the European environment’s state, trend and prospects (SOER 2010). In preparation for SOER 2015, the EEA is updating each of the megatrends, providing a more detailed analysis based on the latest data. This publication is one of the 11 updates being published separately in the second half of 2013 and early-2014. In 2014 the chapters will be consolidated into a single EEA technical report, which will provide the basis for the analysis of megatrends included in SOER 2015.
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Global megatrend update 6: From a unipolar to a multipolar world

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Thursday, September 12, 2013
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In 2010, the EEA produced its first assessment of global megatrends as part of its five-yearly assessment of the European environment’s state, trend and prospects (SOER 2010). In preparation for SOER 2015, the EEA is updating each of the megatrends, providing a more detailed analysis based on the latest data. This publication is one of the 11 updates being published separately in the second half of 2013 and early-2014. In 2014 the chapters will be consolidated into a single EEA technical report, which will provide the basis for the analysis of megatrends included in SOER 2015.
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Global megatrend update 5: Continued economic growth?

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Publication date: 
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Abstract in English: 
In 2010, the EEA produced its first assessment of global megatrends as part of its five-yearly assessment of the European environment’s state, trend and prospects (SOER 2010). In preparation for SOER 2015, the EEA is updating each of the megatrends, providing a more detailed analysis based on the latest data. This publication is one of the 11 updates being published separately in the second half of 2013 and early-2014. In 2014 the chapters will be consolidated into a single EEA technical report, which will provide the basis for the analysis of megatrends included in SOER 2015.
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The European environment - state and outlook 2010: assessment of global megatrends.

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Sunday, November 28, 2010
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This exploratory assessment of global megatrends relevant for the European environment focuses on the impact of major global trends on Europe. A global-to-European perspective is relevant for European environmental policymaking because Europe's environmental challenges and management options are being reshaped by global drivers such as demographics, technologies, trade patterns and consumption. The assessment provides analysis of 11 relevant megatrends, summarises the links between megatrends and Europe's priority environmental challenges, and reflects on possible implications for policymaking.
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Africa in 50 years' time. The road towards inclusive growth

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Thursday, September 1, 2011
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"Since the advent of independence for most African countries, the African continent has struggled with a seemingly endless array of development challenges, from civil war and political instability to epidemic disease, chronic food insecurity and pervasive poverty. However in recent years, Africa has experienced an economic resurgence. The emerging economies, particularly Brazil, India, South Africa and China, have recognised Africa’s potential as an investment destination and a source of natural resources. Over the past decade, despite the successive global food and financial crises, Africa has been growing at an unprecedented rate. Though it will take decades of growth to make major inroads into Africa’s poverty, there is now a growing optimism about Africa’s potential. Africa has some of the most abundant natural resources in the world, many of which are yet to be tapped. These include not just minerals and oil, butalso bountiful possibilities for clean energy. But natural resources are not Africa’s only advantage. While Western countries are shouldering the burden of aging populations, Africa is the world’s youngest continent. If it invests in education and training to develop the potential of its youth, Africa could become one of the most dynamic and productive of economies. In a rapidly changing global environment, Africa needs to seize the initiative and take advantage of these emerging conditions. It needs policies that maximise its comparative advantage and bring about the necessary structural changes in its economy. It needs to invest far more in its young people and in the hard and soft infrastructure required for growth. And above all, it needs institutions that are capable and responsive, and leaders in politics, business and society willing to behave in a democratic and accountable manner.

The future, as always, is shrouded in uncertainty. But many of the trends that will determine Africa’s future prospects are already visible today. If we are clear sighted in our analysis, we can begin to identify the challenges and opportunities that lie before us. Recently, there had been extraordinary tide of political events which led to revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, civil war in Libya, and stirrings of discontent across a number of other countries. These events reveal that the growth experienced in Africa over the past decade – important though it has been in the fight against poverty – is not sufficient. Too many Africans have been excluded from its benefits. Growth is inclusive when it creates economic opportunities – the pace of growth – while ensuring equal access to them – the pattern of growth. But growth in Africa has been narrowly concentrated in a few sectors and geographical areas.

Inequality has become more pronounced and more visible. Young Africans are finding themselves excluded from the labor market and the formal economy with rising youth unemployment. Unless we can find a way to promote inclusive growth, then growth itself may become a source of instability. Given that Africa’s independence began about 50 years ago, for the next 50 years this document assesses the economic and human development prospects in Africa. It identifies the drivers of change and their likely consequences over the next half century, and proposes policy choices that will enable Africa to fulfil its potential in the years ahead.
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Current State and Future Challenges of Europe’s Waters

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Friday, March 2, 2012
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This study explains the current state of Europe’s fresh waters and explores the challenges ahead. First, the state of water availability and quality are linked to climate change, energy, finance and nature protection. Then the current gaps and challenges are identified in terms of water efficiency, land-use, economic instruments, knowledge, governance, global aspects, and climate change.
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Resources Futures

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Publication date: 
Saturday, December 1, 2012
Abstract in English: 
This report is an output of the Resources Futures project, which explores the range of critical constraints and uncertainties faced globally, and the implications for future policies and political agendas. The report builds on the findings of a study prepared for the National Intelligence Council (NIC) in early 2012 assessing the impacts of natural resources on US national security by 2020, 2030 and 2040.
The spectre of resource insecurity has come back with a vengeance. The world is undergoing a period of intensified resource stress, driven in part by the scale and speed of demand growth from emerging economies and a decade of tight commodity markets. Poorly designed and short-sighted policies are also making things worse, not better. Whether or not resources are actually running out, the outlook is one of supply disruptions, volatile prices, accelerated environmental degradation and rising political tensions over resource access. Fears of resource scarcity are not new. On many occasions, higher rates of investment and improved technology have resolved the problem of the day, though often with additional environmental and social costs. With the maturation of technologies to access non-conventional gas and oil, as well as the global economic downturn, some analysts suggest that the resource boom of the past decade is coming to an end – especially in the extractive industries – and that resource related tensions will ease. The hard truth is that many of the fundamental conditions that gave rise to the tight markets in the past ten years remain. In the case of food, the world remains only one or two bad harvests away from another global crisis. Lower prices in the meantime may simply trigger another bout of resource binge, especially in the large and growing developing countries. This report focuses on the new political economy of resources. It analyses the latest global trends in the production, trade and consumption of key raw materials or intermediate products and explores how defensive and offensive moves by governments and other stakeholders are creating new fault lines on top of existing weaknesses and uncertainties. The report also proposes a series of critical interventions, including new informal dialogues involving a group of systemically significant producer and consumer countries (‘Resource 30’ or R30) to tackle resource price volatility and to improve confidence and coordination in increasingly integrated global resource markets.
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Sustainable Development in the 21st century (SD21)

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Publication date: 
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
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The "Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform" supported by the United Nations proposes reports of analyses conducted by the UN on sustainability. Many areas are covered: food and agriculture, urbanisation, land management, economy, energy,...
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Towards a Green Economy in Europe: EU Environmental Policy Targets and Objectives 2010-2050

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Monday, July 1, 2013
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The 'green economy' has emerged as a priority in policy debate in recent years. But what does the concept mean in practice and how can decision-makers measure progress towards this strategic goal ? This report provides some answers, presenting a detailed overview of the key objectives and targets in EU environmental policy and legislation for the period 2010-2050. It focuses on selected environmental and resource policy areas, specifically: energy; greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and ozone-depleting substances; air quality and air pollution; transport sector emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants; waste; water; sustainable consumption and production (SCP); chemicals; biodiversity and land use.
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