Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, 2010

This synthesis focuses on estimates of biodiversity change as projected for the 21st century by models orextrapolations based on experiments and observed trends. The term “biodiversity” is used in a broadsense as it is defined in the Convention on Biological Diversity to mean the abundance and distributionsof and interactions between genotypes, species, communities, ecosystems and biomes. This synthesispays particular attention to the interactions between biodiversity and ecosystem services and tocritical “tipping points” that could lead to large, rapid and potentially irreversible changes. Comparisonsbetween models are used to estimate the range of projections and to identify sources of uncertainty.Experiments and observed trends are used to check the plausibility of these projections. In additionwe have identified possible actions at the local, national and international levels that can be taken toconserve biodiversity. We have called on a wide range of scientists to participate in this synthesis, withthe objective to provide decision makers with messages that reflect the consensus of the scientific communityand that will aid in the development of policy and management strategies that are ambitious,forward looking and proactive.

Download this file (biodiversity_scenarios.pdf)Biodiversity scenarios[ ]

European Commission
Joint Research Centre
Institute for Prospective Technological Studies
Institute for Environment and Sustainability, 2009

The PESETA project makes the first regionally-focused multi-sectoral integrated assessment of the impacts of climate change in the European economy. The project also suggests an innovative modelling framework able to provide useful insights for adaptation policies on a pan-European scale, with the geographical resolution relevant to national stakeholders. Five impact categories have been addressed: agriculture, river floods, coastal systems, tourism, and human health. These aspects are highly sensitive to changes in mean climate and climate extremes. The approach enables a comparison between the impact categories and therefore provides a notion of the relative severity of the damage inflicted. For the climate scenarios of the study, two time frames have been considered: the 2020s and the 2080s. The study evaluates the economic effects of future climate change on the current economy. Other key impacts, such as effects on forestry, impacts in ecosystems and biodiversity and catastrophic events, have not yet been analysed. Therefore, the PESETA project underestimates the impacts of climate change in Europe to a large extent.

Download this file (JRC_ClimateChange.pdf)JRC_ClimateChange.pdf[ ]

European Commission, 2009

The April 2009 EC White Paper on adaptation notes the need to better know the possible consequences of climate change in Europe. The main objective of the PESETA (Projection of Economic impacts of climate change in Sectors of the European Union based on boTtom-up Analysis) project is to contribute to a better understanding of the possible physical and economic impacts induced by climate change in Europe over the 21st century in the following aspects: agriculture, river basin floods, coastal systems, tourism, and human health.

This research project has followed an innovative, integrated approach combining high resolution climate and sectoral impact models with comprehensive economic models, able to provide first estimates of the impacts for alternative climate futures. This approach has been implemented for the first time in Europe. The project has implied truly multidisciplinary work (including e.g. climate modelling, agronomic and civil engineering, health and economics), leading to conclusions that could not have been derived from the scientific disciplines in isolation.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 2000.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was jointly established by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to assess the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant for the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change. The scenarios cover a wide range of the main demographic, economic, and technological driving forces of GHG and sulphur emissions and are representative of the literature. For each storyline several different scenarios were developed using different modelling approaches to examine the range of outcomes arising from a range of models that use similar assumptions about driving forces.

By 2100 the world will have changed in ways that are difficult to imagine – as difficult as it would have been at the end of the 19th century to imagine the changes of the 100 years since. Each storyline assumes a distinctly different direction for future developments, such that the four storylines differ in increasingly irreversible ways. Together they describe divergent futures that encompass a significant portion of the underlying uncertainties in the main driving forces. They cover a wide range of key “future” characteristics such as demographic change, economic development, and technological change. For this reason, their plausibility or feasibility should not be considered solely on the basis of an extrapolation of current economic, technological, and social trends.

A1 storyline and scenarios

The A1 storyline and scenario family describes a future world of very rapid economic growth, global population that peaks in mid-century and declines thereafter, and the rapid introduction of new and more efficient technologies. Major underlying themes are convergence among regions, capacity building, and increased cultural and social interactions, with a substantial reduction in regional differences in per capita income. The A1 scenario family develops into three groups that describe alternative directions of technological change in the energy system. The three A1 groups are distinguished by their technological emphasis: fossil intensive (A1FI), non-fossil energy sources (A1T), or a balance across all sources (A1B).

A2 storyline and scenarios

The A2 storyline and scenario family describes a very heterogeneous world. The underlying theme is self-reliance and preservation of local identities. Fertility patterns across regions converge very slowly, which results in continuously increasing global population. Economic development is primarily regionally oriented and per capita economic growth and technological change are more fragmented and slower than in other storylines.

B1 storyline and scenarios

The B1 storyline and scenario family describes a convergent world with the same global population that peaks in midcentury and declines thereafter, as in the A1 storyline, but with rapid changes in economic structures toward a service and information economy, with reductions in material intensity, and the introduction of clean and resource-efficient technologies. The emphasis is on global solutions to economic, social, and environmental sustainability, including improved equity, but without additional climate initiatives.

B2 storyline and scenarios

The B2 storyline and scenario family describes a world in which the emphasis is on local solutions to economic, social, and environmental sustainability. It is a world with continuously increasing global population at a rate lower than A2, intermediate levels of economic development, and less rapid and more diverse technological change than in the B1 and A1 storylines. While the scenario is also oriented toward environmental protection and social equity, it focuses on local and regional levels

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United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), 2007

The Global Environment Outlook (GEO) project is the implementation of UNEP’s mandate to keep the global environment under review. Initiated at the request of the UNEP Governing Council in 1995, GEO is both a process and a series of reports, analyzing environmental change, causes, impacts, and policy responses. It provides information for decision-making, supports early warning and builds capacity at the global and sub-global levels. GEO is also a communication process that aims at raising awareness on environmental issues and providing options for action. The fourth Global Environment Outlook: environment for development (GEO-4) assessment is a comprehensive and authoritative UN report on environment, development and human well-being, providing incisive analysis and information for decision making.

To see more information

Download this file (GEO-4_Report.pdf)GEO-4_Report.pdf[ ]

John Hawksworth
PricesWaterhouse Coopers, 2006, 2008.

This article emphasises the scale of the challenge posed by global warming, which actually now seems even greater than at the time of the original report two years ago due in particular to higher projected economic growth in China and India. The other key development has been the further sharp rise in oil and gas prices since 2006, which has re-emphasised that the current global energy model may not be sustainable in the long term.

Evangelos Tzimas, Aliki Georgakaki, Stathis Peteves, 2009

This paper assesses the impact of alternative scenarios for the evolution of the European power generation sector on the EU policy goal of reducing GHG emissions. This is achieved by assessing how the future fossil fuel electricity generation technology mix may evolve in the EU up to 2050, in response to developments in fuel and carbon prices, and taking into account other deciding factors such as the advances in carbon capture and storage technology and the share of renewable and nuclear power sources in future electricity generation.

A.Geyer, F.Scapolo, M.Boden, T.Döry, K.Ducatel. March 2003.

The scenarios on the Future of Manufacturing in Europe 2015-2020 (FutMan) offer imaginative pictures about potential socio-economic developments and future technologies that are likely to shape the European manufacturing sector over the coming years. The scenarios highlight important trends, possible trend-breaks, critical challenges and opportunities and present four possible visions of manufacturing in Europe in 2015-2020.