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Environment

Natural Resources in 2020, 2030, and 2040: Implications for the United States

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Abstract in English: 
Based on the general contention that the world is entering an intensified period of resource stress, the National Intelligence Council (NIC) asked Chatham House in July 2011 to conduct research to identify the most important natural resource trends affecting US national security over a 2020, 2030, and 2040 time horizon. The requested analysis covers water, fuel, food, and metals (also referred to as materials). The identified trends—which include patterns of demand, supply, availability, price levels, and price volatility—are shaped and influenced by emerging climate changes, evolving demographic patterns, increasing economic development, and human induced environmental degradation. The result is this report which considers how local and global availability of natural resources will affect US security interests in the medium term (to 2020) and long term (specifically 2030 and 2040). The 2020 date was selected to identify the most pressing policy relevant issues; 2030 was selected to support development of the NIC’s longer-range Global Trends series; and 2040 to support ongoing NIC projects exploring the national security impact of global food, water, and energy security.

The major assumption underpinning this analysis is that mounting prosperity in both the developed and the developing world will continue to drive increased consumer demand for key resources. At the same time, constraints in energy, water, and other critical natural resources and infrastructure, together with socio-economic shifts, will bring new and hard-to-manage instabilities. There will be an increasing risk of discontinuous and systemic shocks to 2040 as a consequence of these factors.

This report identifies potential natural resource stresses (in terms of aggregate availability, absolute prices, or rapid price changes) and analyzes their likely impact on the United States and states/regions of interest to the United States. The report also explores how these stresses will interact with one another and other pre-existing conditions, including poverty, social tensions, environmental degradation, ineffectual leadership, and weak political institutions. Summary tables (Annex A) provide an overview of key resource-related threats and their potential impact on the United States and other major economies. The risk assessments are based on a continuation of today's practices and trends; alternate policy choices, market actions, and technology developments will likely change future risk assessments.
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112
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A Tale of Renewed Cities

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, November 1, 2013
Abstract in English: 
Global urban populations are growing rapidly – and with them, city transport volumes. Urban transport energy consumption is expected to double by 2050, despite ongoing vehicle technology and fuel-economy improvements. Annual global urban transport emissions are expected to more than double to nearly 1 billion annual tonnes of CO2 eq. by 2025. 90% of this growth in urban transport emissions is expected to come from private motorised travel.

The effects of growing travel demand and increasing shifts to private motorisation are leading to escalating roadway congestion that costs billions of dollars in wasted fuel and time. Moreover, motorised vehicle traffic has significant adverse effects on health, contributing substantially to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases from outdoor air pollution, and deteriorated safety in cities, leading to more than 1.3 million deaths per year from traffic accidents. Urgent policy attention to improve the energy efficiency of urban transport systems is thus needed not only for energy security reasons, but also to mitigate the negative climate, noise, air pollution, congestion and economic impacts of rising urban transport volumes and energy consumption.

This policy pathway highlights the holistic transport energy efficiency, city planning and traffic management approaches local and national leaders in Belgrade, New York City, Seoul and more than 30 other cities across Asia, Europe and the Americas are aggressively pursuing. Drawing on these “real-life” case studies, this pathway offers national and local decision makers concrete steps on how to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate key urban transport system policies in order to improve not only energy security, but also quality of life.
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98
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World Oil Outlook 2014

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Abstract in English: 
The OPEC World Oil Outlook (WOO) has been published annually since 2007. It presents projections for the medium-term (to 2019) and long-term (this year extended to 2040) for oil demand and supply. The main conclusions of the WOO 2014 are that oil will continue to play a major part in satisfying world energy needs, as the global economy more than doubles in size, population grows, prosperity expands everywhere, and despite a strong reduction in energy intensity. It also illustrates the growing significance of developing countries in the energy landscape and the progressive shift towards Asia as its gravity centre. Resources are amply sufficient to meet future oil needs. The WOO also emphasizes the many uncertainties associated with the global economy and non-OPEC supply.
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396
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World Energy Investment Outlook

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Abstract in English: 
Questions about the reliability, affordability and sustainability of our energy future often boil down to questions about investment. But are investors ready to commit capital in a fast-changing energy world? This special report in the World Energy Outlook series takes up this question in a full and comprehensive update of the energy investment picture to 2035 – a first full update since the 2003 World Energy Investment Outlook. With benchmark data on past investment trends and updated projections for investment at regional and global level, the report provides insights into:
- The structure of ownership and models for financing investment in different parts of the energy sector.
- The continued importance of oil investment in the Middle East to meet demand, and the consequences of delay in such investment.
- The dynamics and costs of LNG investment and how this can shape the future of global gas supply.
- Where investment in the power sector might fall short of what is required, with important findings on the reliability of electricity supply in Europe and in India.
- The outlook for investment in low-carbon technologies, including renewables, and energy efficiency and the barriers to their realisation.
- How global investment and financing requirements change if governments take stronger action to address climate change.
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190
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What China wants Analysis of China's food demand to 2050

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Abstract in English: 
China’s economic growth and process of urbanisation are bringing about profound changes to China’s agrifood sector. With demand for agrifood products projected to double between 2009 and 2050, China’s agricultural sector is poised to contend with the challenges of depleting natural resource and rising input costs to maintain or improve productivity growth of most
major agricultural commodities.

With the population of China expected to increase to about 1.38 billion in 2050, the nature of food demand will depend on a number of factors, including income growth and urbanization. To investigate these developing trends, this study considers demand across three different income groups: urban high income, urban medium income and rural households. An updated version of the ABARES agrifood model (Linehan et al. 2012a) was used for the analysis. This model is an economic simulation model of global agricultural production, consumption and trade. In this report, agrifood products include primary agricultural products and lightly transformed agricultural products, such as flour and meat, but exclude highly processed food items. While it is projected that the majority of China’s future food demand will be met by an increase in domestic production, there are significant challenges with which the Chinese agrifood sector will need to contend to maintain or increase productivity growth. Investment in the industry is ongoing and required to ensure the degradation and availability of land and water resources, and rising costs for intermediate inputs, do not impede production growth.

The opportunities that Chinese demand growth will provide to food producers and exporters to 2050 are significant. To fully realize those opportunities, it will be important for Australian industries to utilize the working relationships with different agents in the food supply chain in China. For example, supermarkets and hypermarkets, which have an increasing presence in
urban food retailing in China, are playing an important role in meeting the demand for high‐value products by urban consumers. With higher incomes, urban consumers are also expected to increase their expenditure on convenience foods, fast food and restaurant food. Australian industries will need to be responsive to these changes if they are to successfully compete in the
Chinese market over the long term.
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36
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Assessment of global megatrends

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, March 2, 2015
Abstract in English: 
The global megatrends report assesses 11 global megatrends (GMT) of importance for Europe's environment in the long term. In assessing key drivers, trends and implications for Europe, it aims to provide an improved basis for strategic European environmental policymaking.
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140
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European ecosystem assessment — concept, data, and implementation

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Abstract in English: 
This report summarises EEA contributions to Target 2 Action 5 'Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services (MAES)' for the implementation of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 (EC, 2011), the Strategy of the EU to meet the global targets of the Convention of Biodiversity (UN, 2010). Europe is becoming greener (Fuchs et al., 2014) but, at the same time, losing biodiversity. At least one-out-of-three species in Europe is threatened with extinction (IUCN, 2011a-d). Many ecosystems are pushed towards the provision of one service — mainly food production — at the cost of the other services they usually provide.
The EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 aims towards 'healthy' ecosystems that are rich in biodiversity and provide multiple services for human well-being.
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74
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Marine protected areas in Europe's seas — An overview and perspectives for the future

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Abstract in English: 
Europe's seas are under pressure. Marine protected areas (MPAs) can act as a key conservation measure to safeguard marine ecosystems and biodiversity as well as the services these ecosystems provide. The report provides an overview on progress made to date in establishing MPAs and MPA networks in Europe's seas, specifically MPAs reported by European Union (EU) Member States up to and including 2012. It also discusses how best to assess the effectiveness of these MPAs and determine their effectiveness in protecting biodiversity across Europe's seas.
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40
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Global megatrends update: 11 Diversifying approaches to governance

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Abstract in English: 
In the context of rapid globalisation, governments are facing a mismatch between the increasingly long-term, global, systemic challenges facing society and their more national and short-term focus and powers.

The need for more coordinated governance at the global scale has been reflected in the proliferation of international environmental agreements, particularly during the 1990s. More recently, businesses and civil society have also taken an increasing role in governance. This broadening of approaches is welcome but it raises concerns about coordination and effectiveness, as well as accountability and transparency.
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16
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Foresight and African agriculture: innovations and policy opportunities This review

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, April 3, 2014
Abstract in English: 
This report describes the lessons learnt from cases of ‘sustainable intensification’ of agriculture, where farmers have increased food production on existing farmland without putting further pressure on the environment. It uses cases identified by the Foresight project ‘Global food and farming futures’ to demonstrate the potential for high yeild outputs from agriculture in Africa.
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Number of pages: 
55
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