OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050
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OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050

The Consequences of Inaction

Humanity has witnessed unprecedented growth and prosperity in the past decades, with the size of the world economy more than tripling and population increasing by over 3 billion people since 1970. This growth, however, has been accompanied by environmental pollution and natural resource depletion. The current growth model and the mismanagement of natural assets could ultimately undermine human development. 

The OECD Environmental Outlook to 2050 asks "What will the next four decades bring?" Based on joint modelling by the OECD and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, it looks forward to the year 2050 to find out what demographic and economic trends might mean for the environment if the world does not adopt more ambitious green policies. It also looks at what policies could change that picture for the better. This Outlook focuses on four areas: climate change, biodiversity, freshwater and health impacts of pollution. These four key environmental challenges were identified by the previous Environmental Outlook to 2030 (OECD, 2008) as "Red Light" issues requiring urgent attention.

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Date de publication :
15 mars 2012
DOI :
10.1787/9789264122246-en
 
Chapitre
 

Executive Summary You do not have access to this content

Anglais
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Auteur(s):
OCDE
Pages :
19–33
DOI :
10.1787/env_outlook-2012-3-en

Cacher / Voir l'abstract

Over the last four decades, human endeavour has unleashed unprecedented economic growth in the pursuit of higher living standards. While the world’s population has increased by over 3 billion people since 1970, the size of the world economy has more than tripled. While this growth has pulled millions out of poverty, it has been unevenly distributed and incurred significant cost to the environment. Natural assets have been and continue to be depleted, with the services they deliver already compromised by environmental pollution. Providing for a further 2 billion people by 2050 and improving the living standards for all will challenge our ability to manage and restore those natural assets on which all life depends. Failure to do so will have serious consequences, especially for the poor, and ultimately undermine the growth and human development of future generations.
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