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Implications: Europe

Over the next 30 years, Europe is dominated by the reintegration of Western, Central and Eastern Europe following the end of the Cold War. In both Markets First and Policy First worlds, expectations of a significant expansion of the European Union are borne out. This process may stall in a Security First scenario or take on a very different form in a world of Sustainability First. In all four scenarios, the relationships between those countries within the EU and those outside - notably the Russian Federation - are significant in determining, among other things, the state of the environment in this region. The differences in the evolution of such bodies as the European Environment Agency, which is likely to become much stronger in a world of Policy First or Sustainability First, also play a role.

Developments in Europe's relationships with other regions are also important. The contrast between greater openness to trade and migration in Markets First and Policy First worlds and a possible reversal of both in a Security First situation, imply significant impacts either way. Similarly, differences in the evolution of multilateral environmental agreements make a conspicuous mark.

Two critical areas of development are agricultural policy and the relationship between climate, energy and transport. They are explored here together with other issues, in the contexts of atmosphere, land, biodiversity, freshwater and coastal and marine areas. Finally, the implications under each scenario of a major food scare brought on by a combination of factors are explored in the box.

Europe's scope to address the issues of large-scale air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions depends heavily upon developments in the areas of energy use and transportation. Whereas extremely active policies to improve public transportation, for reasons of both pollution and congestion control, and to improve energy efficiency can be expected in Policy First and Sustainability First worlds, these advances are unlikely in Security First or even Markets First circumstances. In the Markets First case, some economic policies, such as road and carbon taxes, are likely and technological developments will continue to improve the energy use per unit of activity. Growth in volume of travel and economic activity in general is, however, expected to outweigh per unit improvements in response to these policies. In a Security First situation, lack of economic development in Central and Eastern Europe restrains energy use in general.