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Sustainable future

The sustainable development strategy, the energy and climate change package, and the procedure of "impact assessment" of major EU initiatives are good examples of the integration of sustainable development into the daily life of the European Union.

Sustainable development has been subject to scientific, technological and, more and more, socio-economic research and studies ( sd/

Sustainability hinges on whether one can find a new model of development that reconciles profit, people and the planet. It deals with long-term issues and with the need to support a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. It aims to achieve a post carbon and knowledge-based society.

Among the European Forward looking research projects dealing with sustainability are:

In the frame of the EU-China science and technology week (June 2010), the European Commission, DG Research (Science, Economy and Society) organised an event on "The World in 2050 and sustainable cities".

On 29 September, the European Commission organized a conference in Brussels on "Post Carbon Transitions, Visions and Challenges".
This conference concluded a year-long dialogue between Europe and the US on science, innovation and sustainable economic growth.

The EU-US forum on science, innovation, and sustainable economic growth had its first meeting in Washington (September 2010). The purpose of this transatlantic dialogue is to share our understanding of the ways in which science and innovation affect sustainable economic growth, to identify impediments to the flow of science from the "bench" to applications; and to explore policy options that might enhance the impact of science on economic activity and societal needs. Read more

World and European Energy and Environment Transition Outlook (7.69MB PDF icon)

    The World and European Energy and Environment Transition Outlook (WETO-T) offers a new perspective on the technological, economic and social options which could lead towards a post carbon society by the end of the century.

    WETO-T tackles demographic, human capital, and lifestyles issues up to 2100 and the consequent needs for energy services worldwide.

    For Europe, the WETO-T report firstly addresses three technology paradigms for long-term sustainability. Secondly, it analyses the energy-environment transition in combination with land-use issues. Thirdly, it helps to understand the "social fabric" of this energy-environment transition.

    WETO-T also investigates the potential innovations in the transport and building sectors in conjunction with changes in human behaviour. Finally, it looks at the policy path to the achievement of the climate change targets.