Future Environments for Europe: Some Implications of Alternative Development Paths

Stigliani WM, Brouwer F, Munn RE, Shaw RW, & Antonovsky MY (1989). Future Environments for Europe: Some Implications of Alternative Development Paths. IIASA Executive Report. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: ER-89-015

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Abstract

With the completion of the Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development (popularly known also as the Brundtland Commission Report) in 1987, and the subsequent worldwide attention given to that study, the concept of "ecologically sustainable development" has gained broad recognition. It is now commonly acknowledged that economic development and ecological sustainability are not contradictory goals. To the contrary, they are interdependent -- the economy of a country cannot grow over the long term, when its environment is being hopelessly degraded, and a country experiencing severe ecological degradation cannot restore its environment without developing economically. Most of the focus of ecologically sustainable development has been on the less developed countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Because of the desperate straits of the populations in those areas, such focus is certainly merited.

Our IIASA study, focused on Europe, had at its inception in 1985 two goals. The first was methodological. We reasoned that if in fact it were possible to conduct a study of European environmental problems 40 years into the future, perhaps similar studies could be conducted for the less developed continents. We believe that this European "experiment" has been successful and we strongly support the undertaking of "future environments" studies elsewhere in the world.

The second goal was one of substance. What precisely could we learn about the major environmental problems that could confront future generations of Europeans, and how would we begin to solve those problems now, rather than bequeathing them, in their most severe manifestations, to our children and grandchildren? We also believe we have succeeded, at least in part, in realizing this goal.

I am pleased, therefore, to introduce this very important study for I believe it will be a major contribution to the ongoing effort to achieve an ecologically sustainable world.

I would also like to single out for special praise the study's two sponsors, the Ministry of Housing, Physical Planning, and the Environment, Leidschendam, The Netherlands, and the Ministry of the Environment, Prospective Group, Paris, France, who had the wisdom and foresight in 1985 to understand the potential importance of this study, and without whose support and constant encouragement we would not have been able to complete it.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Executive Report)
Research Programs: Environment Program - Core (ENC)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:59
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2016 14:42
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/3234

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