The European Environment Agency (EEA) has added two new research chapters to the ‘Assessment of Global Megatrends’, which deal with how emerging Asian economies will affect Europe and global environmental concerns.
Studies show that India and China will emerge to the forefront of the global economic output in the coming decades. The broader rise of developing countries and the increases in domestic consumptions it will bring will bear significant effects on Europe, which will see its access to imported commodities threatened. The global shift also means that Europe’s transformation into low carbon economies might be hindered, as even those depend on imports of 14 raw materials already strained, according to the European commission.
For the broader environment, reports show that energy use will increase, giving the example of South Korea’s surge in oil consumption which followed its economic advancements. Global energy demand, then, could be further accelerated by similar changes in developing countries like China, India, or Indonesia.
Growing demand for food from bigger, wealthier populations will also mean that agricultural use will strain land resources, while forests and other habitats will continue to be exploited for bioenergy.
The study suggests that Europe has the potential to pave the way in forward-thinking environmental politics, which could then be widely adapted in the rising economies. This has already been observed in the spread of EU vehicle emission standards in the Asia-Pacific region.