In our complex world, long-term analysis is necessary to build effective environmental policies. International organisations, European institutions and national governments are using scenarios and quantitative models to explore policies and pathways that address problems such as climate change and biodiversity loss. Whilst computer models have become very sophisticated – a challenge for all future analysis is the identification of uncertainties, tipping points and possible unexpected events.
Milieu has carried out a series of studies related to scenarios and future issues for the European Environment Agency. These cover a broad range of work. For example, we reviewed scenario studies prepared by government, industry and academic researchers for a catalogue published in 2011. We analysed information on current trends for a study of potential future pathways of the Western Balkans, published in 2010. We have also assessed how governments use projections and scenario studies in the development of environmental policy.
Key projects in this area include the following:
Literature review and analysis of future-oriented studies at global, European and national levels (including EEA countries, the former Soviet Union and the Western Europe), and the drafting of a Catalogue of scenario studies (EEA Technical Report No. 1/2011), working with Collingwood Environmental Planning (CEP).
Preparation of Environmental trends and perspectives in the Western Balkans: future production and consumption patterns (EEA Report No. 1/2010), which looked at pathways in the Western Balkans in light of changing consumption and production. Milieu co-ordinated the study team, including statistical and indicator experts from the Zoï Environment Network.
Support for The pan-European environment: glimpses into an uncertain future (EEA Report No. 7/2007), working with CEP.