It also explains their implications for four key areas of concern: climate change, biodiversity, water and the health impacts of environmental pollution.
Despite the recent recession, according to the OECD, the global economy is projected to nearly quadruple to 2050. Rising living standards will be accompanied by ever growing demands for energy, food and natural resources. And more pollution.
The costs of inaction could be colossal, both in economic and human terms. Without new policies, the OECD projects that:
- World energy demand in 2050 will be 80% higher, with most of the growth to come from emerging economies and still 85% reliant on fossil fuel-based energy.
- Urban air pollution is set to become the top environmental cause of mortality worldwide by 2050, ahead of dirty water and lack of sanitation.
- On land, global biodiversity is projected to decline by a further 10%, with significant losses in Asia, Europe and Southern Africa.
- Global water demand will increase by some 55%, due to growing demand from manufacturing (+400%), thermal power plants (+140%) and domestic use (+130%).
More information about the Environmental Outlook to 2050 >>