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Project no.: 022793 FORESCENE Development of a Forecasting Framework and Scenarios to Support the EU Sustainable Development Strategy Instrument: STREP Thematic Priority 8.1: Policy-oriented research, scientific support to policies, integrating and strengthening the European Research Area

D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

Submission date: July 2007 Start date of project: 1/12/2005

Duration: 30 months

Organisation name of lead contractor for this deliverable: Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy Revision: final

Project co-funded by the European Commission within the Sixth Framework Programme (2002-2006) Dissemination Level PU PP RE CO

Public Restricted to other programme participants (including the Commission Services) Restricted to a group specified by the consortium (including the Commission Services) Confidential, only for members of the consortium (including the Commission Services)

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FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

Technical Report of Work Package 1

July 2007 Stefan Bringezu, Christian Radtke, Mathieu Saurat, Isabel van de Sand, Markus SchĂźller Roy Haines-Young, Marion Potschin Mats G E Svensson Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy University of Nottingham, Centre for Environmental Management Lund University, Centre for Sustainability Studies

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FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

Ta ble of Co nte nt s EXECUTIVE SUMMARY............................................................................................ 11 1.

INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................. 14

2.

THEORETICAL AND METHODOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK ............................... 17

2.1. Natural Resources ............................................................................................................... 17 2.1.1. Resource use and waste: socio-industrial metabolism and material flow analysis ... 17 2.1.2. Water: water catchment studies .................................................................................... 20 2.1.3. Landscape, biodiversity and soils: land cover stocks and flows ................................. 21 2.2.

3.

Driving forces, activities and underlying factors ........................................................... 25

TOPIC: RESOURCE USE AND WASTE............................................................. 30

3.1.

Introduction........................................................................................................................... 30

3.2.

Main policy goals and targets............................................................................................ 30

3.3. Environmental pressures and material flows ................................................................. 32 3.3.1. Resource use.................................................................................................................. 32 3.3.2. Fossil fuels ...................................................................................................................... 34 3.3.3. Metals and industrial minerals ....................................................................................... 37 3.3.4. Construction minerals, excavation and dredging ......................................................... 41 3.3.5. Biomass .......................................................................................................................... 42 3.3.6. Waste .............................................................................................................................. 45

4.

TOPIC: WATER AND WATER USE.................................................................... 48

4.1.

Introduction........................................................................................................................... 48

4.2.

Main policy goals and targets............................................................................................ 49

4.3.

Water availability and main water use in European countries .................................... 51

4.4.

Current threats ..................................................................................................................... 52

4.5.

Water quality ......................................................................................................................... 53

4.6.

Climate change and water stress...................................................................................... 55

5. 5.1.

TOPIC: LANDSCAPE, BIODIVERSITY AND SOILS .......................................... 57 Introduction........................................................................................................................... 57

5.2. Landscape ............................................................................................................................. 57 5.2.1. Main policy goals and targets ........................................................................................ 57

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5.2.2.

Overview of the environmental, economic and social problems related to landscape 60

5.3. Biodiversity........................................................................................................................... 62 5.3.1. Main policy goals and targets........................................................................................ 62 5.3.2. Overview of the environmental, economic and social problems related to biodiversity 65 5.4. Soils ....................................................................................................................................... 68 5.4.1. Main policy goals and targets........................................................................................ 68 5.4.2. Overview of the environmental, economic and social problems related to soils ....... 68

6.

DERIVATION OF CROSS-CUTTING DRIVERS.................................................. 71

6.1.

Methodology ......................................................................................................................... 71

6.2.

Delineation of driving forces in the topic field of resource use and waste............... 75

6.3.

Delineation of driving forces in the topic field of water and water use ..................... 92

6.4.

Delineation of driving forces in the topic field of landscape, biodiversity and soils 104

6.5.

Determination of cross-cutting driving forces ............................................................. 123

7.

CONCLUSIONS ................................................................................................ 128

8.

REFERENCES .................................................................................................. 130

9.

ANNEX .............................................................................................................. 135

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FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

List o f Fi gur es

Figure 1: General overview of the rationale and the work structure behind WP 1 (determination of cross-cutting drivers of the pressures and impacts on three environmental topics) .......................................................................................... 13 Figure 2: The Concept of Industrial Metabolism – 'What goes in must come out'........ 18 Figure 3: Economy wide material balance scheme (excluding air and water) ............. 20 Figure 4: Water and water catchment area as a dynamic usage system, and its extracted amounts and major usages. ................................................................. 21 Figure 5: Flow accounts for land cover and the relationship between the concepts of stocks and flows and fundamental questions about sustainable development ..... 23 Figure 6: The structure of land cover and land use accounts ...................................... 24 Figure 7: Activities and underlying factors in the socio-industrial metabolism. ............ 28 Figure 8: Composition of aggregated resource consumption (Domestic Material Consumption, DMC) in 2000 ............................................................................... 32 Figure 9: Composition of the domestic material consumption of the EU-15 in 2000.... 33 Figure 10: Total Material Requirement of the EU-15................................................... 33 Figure 11: Domestic material consumption associated with fossil fuels in the EU-15.. 35 Figure 12: Material flows associated with fossil fuels in EU-15 ................................... 36 Figure 13: Domestic material consumption associated with industrial minerals and metal ores in the EU-15 ....................................................................................... 38 Figure 14: Material flows associated metals and industrial minerals in the EU-15....... 38 Figure 15: Domestic material consumption associated with metals in the EU-15 ........ 39 Figure 16: Material flows associated with metals in the EU-15.................................... 40 Figure 17: Material flows associated with construction minerals and excavation ........ 41 Figure 18: Domestic material consumption associated with biomass in the EU-15 ..... 43 Figure 19: Material flows associated with biomass ..................................................... 43 Figure 20: Composition of the TMR associated with biomass in the EU-15 ................ 44 Figure 21: Composition of waste streams (in mass) in Europe ................................... 47 Figure 22: Annual water availability per capita per country in 2001............................. 52 Figure 23: Number of flooding events in Europe, 1900-2000 ...................................... 53 Figure 24: Annual nitrogen load in selected regions and catchment ........................... 54 Figure 25: Current water availability in Europe, and under the LREM-E climate change scenario............................................................................................................... 56 7


Figure 26: Linkage between Ecosystem Services and Human Well-being .................. 66 Figure 27: Global status of ecosystem services ......................................................... 67 Figure 28: Areas at risk from soil erosion in Europe.................................................... 69 Figure 29: Matrix of activities ...................................................................................... 72 Figure 30: Tree of underlying factors .......................................................................... 73 Figure 31: Gross fixed capital formation in EU-25, broken down per investment product ............................................................................................................................ 77 Figure 32: Physical Trade Balance of EU 15 .............................................................. 79 Figure 33: Evolution of the DMI intensity in EU-15 compared with Gross domestic..... 82 Figure 34: DMC per capita with respect to population density in some EU-15 countries in 2000 ................................................................................................................ 87 Figure 35: The socio-industrial metabolic system applied to water, with the surrounding DPSIR framework and its’ impact on the underlying factors................................. 93 Figure 36: General overview of the rationale and the work structure behind the results of WP 1 (determination of cross-cutting drivers of the pressures and impacts on three environmental topics) ............................................................................... 129

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FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

List o f Tab le s Table 1: The key policy areas and objectives identified by the Commission for halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010............................................................................ 64 Table 2: Relevance assessment of ‘economic growth’................................................ 76 Table 3: Relevance assessment of ‘investment patterns’............................................ 78 Table 4: Relevance assessment of ‘globalisation’....................................................... 79 Table 5: Relevance assessment of ‘innovation’ .......................................................... 82 Table 6: Relevance assessment of ‘composition of material input’ ............................. 83 Table 7: Relevance assessment of ‘recycling’ ............................................................ 83 Table 8: Relevance assessment of ‘resource intensity’............................................... 84 Table 9: Relevance assessment of ‘food and drink’ .................................................... 85 Table 10: Relevance assessment of ‘housing’ ............................................................ 85 Table 11: Relevance assessment of ‘leisure’ .............................................................. 85 Table 12: Relevance assessment of ‘transport and communication’ ........................... 86 Table 13: Relevance assessment of ‘ageing society’.................................................. 86 Table 14: Relevance assessment of ‘settlement patterns’ .......................................... 87 Table 15: Relevance assessment of ‘population density’ ............................................ 88 Table 16: Relevance assessment of ‘climate change’................................................. 88 Table 17: Relevance assessment of ‘resource depletion’ ........................................... 89 Table 18: Relevance assessment of ‘natural catastrophes’ ........................................ 90 Table 19: Analysis of underlying drivers for resource use and waste .......................... 92 Table 20: Relevance assessment of ‘economic growth’.............................................. 95 Table 21: Relevance assessment of ‘globalisation’..................................................... 95 Table 22: Relevance assessment of ‘Investment patterns’ ......................................... 96 Table 23: Relevance assessment of ‘innovation’ ........................................................ 96 Table 24: Relevance assessment of ‘recycling’ .......................................................... 97 Table 25: Relevance assessment of ‘composition of material input’ ........................... 97 Table 26: Relevance assessment of ‘material intensity’ .............................................. 98 Table 27: Relevance assessment of ‘food and drink’ .................................................. 98 Table 28: Relevance assessment of ‘housing’ ............................................................ 99 Table 29: Relevance assessment of ‘leisure’ .............................................................. 99 Table 30: Relevance assessment of ‘transport and communication’ ......................... 100 Table 31: Relevance assessment of ‘population settlement’..................................... 100

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Table 32: Relevance assessment of ‘population density’ .......................................... 101 Table 33: Relevance assessment of ‘climate change’............................................... 101 Table 34: Relevance assessment of ‘resource depletion’ ......................................... 102 Table 35: Relevance assessment of ‘natural catastrophes’....................................... 103 Table 36: Analysis of underlying drivers for water and water use.............................. 104 Table 37: Relevance assessment to economic growth ............................................. 107 Table 38: Relevance assessment to globalisation .................................................... 107 Table 39: Relevance assessment to investment patterns ......................................... 109 Table 40: Relevance assessment to innovation ........................................................ 110 Table 41: Relevance assessment to recycling .......................................................... 112 Table 42: Relevance assessment to composition of material input ........................... 112 Table 43: Relevance assessment to material intensity.............................................. 113 Table 44: Relevance assessment to food and drink.................................................. 114 Table 45: Relevance assessment to housing............................................................ 115 Table 46: Relevance assessment to leisure11 ........................................................... 115 Table 47: Relevance assessment to transport and communication........................... 116 Table 48: Relevance assessment to the ‘ageing society’ .......................................... 117 Table 49: Relevance assessment to settlement patterns .......................................... 117 Table 50: Relevance assessment to population density............................................ 118 Table 51: Relevance assessment to climate change ................................................ 119 Table 52: Relevance assessment to natural catastrophes ........................................ 120 Table 53: Relevance assessment to resource depletion ........................................... 121 Table 54: Analysis of underlying drivers for landscapes, biodiversity and soils ......... 122 Table 55: Analysis of underlying drivers for the three environmental topics (resource use and waste, water and water use, and landscape, biodiversity and soils) ..... 125 Table 56: Underlying factors (Level 1 to 3) used for the relevance analysis .............. 126 Table 58: Results of the scoring method used to determine the cross-cutting drivers and the most relevant activities and underlying factors ...................................... 127

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FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

Executive Summary Sustainable development is a complex phenomenon which encompasses several dimensions (e.g. economic, social and environmental) and operates at different scales both in time as well as in space. The complexity and multidimensionality of the issue has given raise to the need for integrated approaches that can deal with such complex issues. In recent years a number of projects have been initiated at the EU-level in the field of Integrated Sustainability Analysis. The aim of the FORESCENE project is to devise a forecasting framework and scenarios to support the EU Sustainable Development Strategy. In doing so, it focuses on the environmental areas of resource use and waste, water and water use, and landscape, biodiversity and soils. Rather than focusing on each of the environmental themes separately, the added value of the project is that it will determine cross-cutting drivers for the three fields, thereby creating a multidimensional analytical framework based on relationships and interactions. This report presents the finding of work package one: description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers. The results of this work package integrate the work of a stakeholder workshop and serve as important building blocks for the subsequent work packages (development of core elements for integrated sustainability scenarios and of a BAU scenario). In order to identify cross-cutting drivers for the three environmental areas two frameworks were used as the basis on which the subsequent analysis was built: the concept of socio-industrial metabolism and the EEA’s DPSIR framework. The combination of these frameworks offered a comprehensive systems analysis tool, which allowed to quantify the interaction between the anthroposphere and the environment (socioindustrial metabolism) as well as to qualify the results of this interaction (DPSIR). For the purpose of the FORESCENE project, the environment part is separated into the three topic areas: ‘resource use and waste generation’, ‘water and water use’, and ‘landscape, biodiversity and soils’. Each of these topic areas has developed specific methodologies in the past, such as material flow accounting, water catchment studies and land cover and land use accounts, which allow to translate the socio-industrial metabolism into concrete flow analyses for each of the three environmental themes, respectively. By adapting the DPSIR framework, the FORESCENE project distinguished between direct and indirect drivers, referred to as activities and underlying factors, respectively. The underlying factors determine the quality and quantity of activities, which cause pressures on the environment that change the state of the environment with subsequent impacts on human society and the environment alike. In total eleven human (economic) activities are studied as vectors of human pressures on the environment: ‘agriculture’, ‘forestry’, ‘basic metals’, ‘chemicals and chemical products’, ‘construction’, ‘energy supply’, ‘water supply’, ‘food products and beverages’, ‘machinery equipment’, ‘motor vehicles’, and ‘transport’. These in turn are also influenced by drivers – the ‘underlying factors’. This term reminds that the link between a driver and an environmental pressure is not necessarily direct. This link is in fact often 11


indirect as a succession of interactions along a process-chain (e.g. production chain). Five main categories of underlying factors are distinguished: ‘economic development’, ‘production patterns’, ‘consumption patterns’, ‘demography’ and ‘natural system’. Figure 1 depicts the overall methodology used for the analysis of cross-cutting drivers. Underlying factors and their relevance for the three environmental topic areas were analysed in the context of the eleven activities. Each environmental topic encounters specific environmental impacts, which, however, may be driven by the same underlying factors. If this is the case, we speak of ‘cross-cutting drivers’. The analysis conducted scrutinized the underlying factors in order to determine the cross-cutting drivers as well as the activities most relevant for the environmental impacts. The results of the analysis were then combined in a single unified matrix, which allowed the determination and ranking of cross-cutting underlying factors. The analysis revealed that energy supply, agriculture, water supply and construction appear to be the activities most susceptible to cause pressures and impacts on the three environmental themes. Transport, forestry, chemicals, basic metals, and food products are also activities potentially important to consider, though to a lesser extent. Among the underlying factors ‘production patterns’, i.e. ‘material intensity’, ‘composition of material input’, ‘innovation’ and ‘recycling’ act as powerful cross-cutting drivers for the pressures on the environment. ‘Economic development’ (in particular ‘investment patterns’) and ‘consumption patterns’ (especially ‘food and drink’ and ‘transport and communication’) are also important cross-cutting drivers, even though it seems more difficult to stir change in them. Given the fact that ‘production patterns’ impact all three environmental topic areas in almost all of the considered activities, special focus should be put on this parameter for the integrated scenarios to be developed.

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FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

Figure 1: General overview of the rationale and the work structure behind WP 1 (determination of cross-cutting drivers of the pressures and impacts on three environmental topics)

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1. Introduction Sustainable development is a complex phenomenon, which encompasses several dimensions (e.g. economic, social and environmental) and operates at different scales both in time as well as in space. The complexity and multidimensionality of the issue has given raise to the need for integrated approaches that can deal with such complex issues. In recent years a number of projects have been initiated at the EU-level in the field of Integrated Sustainability Analysis. The aim of the FORESCENE project is to devise a forecasting framework and scenarios to support the EU Sustainable Development Strategy. In doing so, it focuses on the environmental areas of resource use and waste, water and water use, and landscape, biodiversity and soils. Despite the fact that the concept of sustainable development, as defined by the famous Brundtland report ‘Our common future’ has been around for two decades, natural resources continue to be used in an unsustainable manner. This was also recently highlighted by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment initiative, which reported that around two thirds of ecosystem services examined are severely degraded or used unsustainably (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005). The reports notes that while there have been substantial gains in economic development and well-being during the past 50 years, these “have been achieved at growing costs in the form of the degradation of many ecosystem services, increased risks of non-linear changes and the exacerbation of poverty”. In order to devise effective strategies for sustainable development, it is vital to gain a profound knowledge of specific environmental problems and to determine the driving forces standing behind these problems. In addition, the multidimensionality of sustainable development and the complexity of environment-economy interlinkages requires taking an integrated approach, identifying cross-cutting drivers rather than looking at each environmental problem area and/or driving force in isolation. The aim of this report is twofold: first, to delineate the environmental topic areas resource use and waste, water and water use and landscape, biodiversity and soils. The second aim of the report is to determine cross-cutting driving forces for the three environmental topic areas.

Resource use and waste The current resource use of industrial countries may not serve as a global model. If the current total material consumption of these countries were adopted world-wide this would lead to an increase of global resource consumption by a factor of 2 to 5 until 2050 (Bringezu et al. 2003). Because most of the resource requirements, usually about 90%, are naturally non-renewable1 minerals, the current resource use is associated with a continuous change of the world’s surface and steady change of landscapes. Current use of biomass also already leads to global degradation of ecosystems. Actual

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FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

land use requirements of developed regions such as the EU-15 according to their consumption of agricultural goods exceed their domestic arable land by about one fifth, and a global adoption of Western style consumption patterns would lead to an expansion of intensively cultivated land at the expense of the rest of natural ecosystems (Bringezu and Steger 2005). Thus a global adoption of the production and consumption patterns of industrial countries would be a major threat to the natural environment and our resource and living base. Therefore, countries and regions such as the EU need to use renewable and non-renewable resources in a significantly more efficient manner, in order to reduce current natural resource consumption and give room to the development of the rest of the world.

Water and water use Water has been highlighted as an emerging and critical environmental issue of the 21st century. All life forms and ecosystems on earth depend on its existence and availability. Since there has been growing pressure on water resources, conflicts are unavoidable as we are reaching the limits to growth. Moreover, it is becoming increasingly evident that several issues are now continuously converging: food security, water security and environmental security. Although water is a renewable resource, it is also finite and has to be allocated between competing interests. The increase in the level of economic activity implies a need for additional resources, which inevitably generates more pollution, whether from agricultural (non-point) or industrial (point) sources or both. This, together with the corresponding increase in domestic pollution, can cause environmental and water quality degradation, which in turn constrains further development.

Landscape, biodiversity and soil In searching for a better understanding of the cross-cutting drivers that affect natural resources associated with landscape, biodiversity and soils, the relationship to land cover and the processes of land cover change is probably fundamental. While each topic area is important in its own right, their individual fates are often highly correlated because their state or condition is usually shaped by the way land is managed and the way natural processes can modify the elements of land cover and their allied properties. The impacts of economic growth, global trade and investment, together with changes in consumption and production patterns are likely to be key socio-economic drivers of change in relation to the three themes, because they fundamentally influence the way in which land cover is transformed and managed over time, and the way land resources are allocated between different activity sectors in the economy. Their influence needs to be considered, however, against a backdrop of drivers more related to the natural environment. The report is structured in three parts. The first part lies down the methodological and theoretical framework. The second part then focuses on the delineation of the three topic areas, providing an overview of the existing main policy goals and targets as well as the specific environmental problems and threats inherent to each topic area. The determination of cross-cutting driving forces is the focus of the third part of the report. 15


Driving forces are first identified separately for each topic area, before the cross-cutting drivers are determined. The report then draws conclusions and summarizes the main implications of this analysis for the scenario building work that follows in subsequent work packages of the FORESCENE project.

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FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

2. Theoretical and Methodological Framework 2.1.

Natural Resources

There is no commonly used definition of ‘natural resources’. It can range from a rather narrow one, considering only raw materials, to a very broad one encompassing all basic functions provided by natural eco-systems from which society derives value. The definition of natural resources as used by the Commission of the European Community in the preparation of the Thematic Strategy on the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources (CEC - Commission of the European Communities 2003) basically distinguishes between 5 categories of natural resources: •

raw materials such as minerals, fossil energy carriers and biomass,

biological resources (gene pools),

environmental media such as air, water and soil,

flow resources such as wind, geothermal, tidal and solar energy, and

space, i.e. land used for mineral extraction, agriculture and forestry, infrastructure, industry and human settlements.

These correspond closely to the type of natural resources considered within the context of the FORESCENE project. The project focuses on the topic areas of resource use and waste, water as well as landscape, biodiversity and soils, although no explicit focus is given to flow resources (wind, geothermal, tidal and solar energy). The nature of sustainable development, which encompasses multiple dimensions and scales, requires taking an integrated approach both within as well as across certain topic areas and policy fields. The following section will provide an overview of the methodological and theoretical approaches currently taken within each topic area (resource use and waste, water and water use, and landscape, biodiversity and soils). 2.1.1. Resource use and waste: socio-industrial metabolism and material flow analysis Our planet is a more or less closed material system. It is obvious, that any use of raw materials will induce a material flow. In accordance with the law of conservation of matter these material inputs from the environment will become, over time, material outputs to the environment. Hence environmental and sustainability impacts related to the use of natural resources are associated not only with the extraction and harvesting of raw materials on the one side (source function), but also with the subsequent production, use and disposal of products and goods on the other side (sink function). In order to capture the essentials of such a complex system and devise strategies for sustainable resource management an integrated approach has to be taken which sufficiently takes into account the boundaries between the natural and human induced environment. The concept of the “socio-industrial metabolism” provides such a comprehensive systems perspective. It draws its analogy from the biological meaning of the term “metabolism” and can be traced back to various scientific disciplines (Ayres and Simonis 1994; 17


Fischer-Kowalski 1998; Fischer-Kowalski and HĂźttler 1999). It describes the interaction between the environment (nature) and the economy/society (antroposphere), which are linked through the flow of materials and energy (see Figure 2). Just as the metabolism of living organisms converts food into energy an excretes matter back to the environment, the socio-industrial metabolism converts raw material, energy, and labour into finished products, which fuel the socio-economic system, and discharges unwanted matter, in the form of wastes and emissions, back to nature. The cycle of the socioindustrial metabolism thus starts with the extraction of raw materials (e.g. biomass, minerals and fossil fuels), followed by beneficiation, refining and manufacturing of these raw materials into products and other durables using energy and releasing pollutants and waste. These products are then either added to the physical stock of the economy (e.g. in forms of buildings, infrastructure or other long lived products), exported to another economy, or finally undergo recycling or are deposited as waste after the product has been used. Anthropogenic activities lie at the core of the socio-industrial metabolism. They determine the extent to which raw materials and energy are used and thus also the subsequent environmental pressures generated. Although it remains difficult to establish a causal link between material and resources used and specific environmental impacts, recent research has shown, that as a general rule of thumb, higher levels of material, resource and land use, are associated with larger impact potentials for the environment (van der Voet et al. 2005). Material and resource flows can thus serve as indirect pressure indicators. In essence the socio-industrial metabolism can thus be regarded as an overarching framework and basis for the FORESCENE project.

Figure 2: The Concept of Industrial Metabolism – 'What goes in must come out'

The methodology of economy-wide Material Flow Analysis or Accounting (MFA) allows to measure the socio-industrial metabolism of a national economy in physical units. Economy-wide MFA is based on the principle of mass balance and systematically accounts for all the material and resource input and output flows crossing the functional border between the economy (technosphere, anthroposphere) and the environment. In addition, it considers all material/resource flows crossing the national (geographical) border, i.e. in form of imports and exports. The methodology distinguishes between a variety of flows and indicators. 18


FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

Input flows are defined as the extraction or movement of natural materials by humans or human controlled means of technology. They are further differentiated according to whether they are extracted from the domestic environment or imported from the rest of the world. In addition, a distinction is made between used and unused extraction. Used extraction refers to those materials that are directly used in the economy and are of economic value. The term unused extraction, on the other hand, describes the materials that are removed from nature during the extraction process, but are not further used for technological processing and have no economic value. Unused domestic extraction is also sometimes termed “domestic hidden flows”, whereas “foreign hidden flows” relate to the cradle to border primary requirement that occurred during the production of the imported goods. Output flows refer to those materials that leave the economy either as exports or in the form of emissions and waste. The mass differences between material inputs and outputs relate to the physical stock changes in the national economy. This is termed net additions to stock (NAS). The annual NAS corresponds to the physical growth rate of an economy. At the overview level, economy-wide MFA does not account for the internal material flows within the economy, but rather treats the economy as a black box. A variety of indicators have been derived from economy-wide MFA. Similar to the type of flows presented above, indicators can be grouped into different categories, such as input, output, balance, consumption and efficiency indicators. A complete list and further explanation of indicators is provided in the ANNEX. In recent years considerable progress has been made towards the measurement of the socio-industrial metabolism (Ayres and Ayres 2002). Economy-wide material flow analysis and derived indicators (Bringezu et al. 2003) are increasingly introduced to official statistics. European institutions such as Eurostat (2001a) and the EEA (2003) as well as international organisations like OECD (2005) support harmonized accounting of materials use and productivity at the national level. Indicators have been developed which allow to describe the dynamics of the metabolic performance of countries, regions and sectors. There is, however, still a debate on how to interpret the indicators for the design and control of policy measures, and how to set priorities on the management of the different material and resource flows.

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Figure 3: Economy wide material balance scheme (excluding air and water) Source: Eurostat 2001

2.1.2. Water: water catchment studies A water catchment area is a useful landscape unit for an integrated approach where a balance between humans and nature should be sought (Letcher and Guipponi 2005). In the water catchment area, the green water (vapour) flow supports terrestrial ecosystems and the blue water (liquid) flow supports both aquatic ecosystems and multiple forms of human use. The green water flow reflects the consumptive water use by both natural vegetation and agro-ecosystems. The blue water moves above and below the ground, from up- to downhill, and from land to water systems (see Figure 4). The catchment can be seen as containing two usage systems: one of human waterrelated activities, the other of water-dependent ecosystems, terrestrial as well as aquatic. These usage systems are linked internally by water flows. The human activities include the following: -

Direct withdrawals, where the blue water after use is divided into two flows: consumptive use leaving as green water flow to the atmosphere and not available for reuse, and the blue water return flow to the system, often loaded with pollutants.

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In-stream blue water uses for power generation, navigation, recreation, etc.

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Land use influencing (blue) runoff generation, including urban, domestic and industrial waste water (Falkenmark and Lindh 1993).

Ecosystems are of two types: -

Terrestrial, which are green water related.

-

Aquatic, which are blue water related.

Evidently, human activities and ecosystems are, however, partly incompatible. Therefore, a management task is to orchestrate the catchment for compatibility. This will de20


FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

mand intentional trade-offs. The fact that the resulting trade-offs have to be socially acceptable makes stakeholder dialogues an essential component. The crucial question is of course: where is that water now? A set of alternatives exist: irrigation using additional blue water; reducing water losses (those now evaporating and those now recharging groundwater or rivers); horizontal expansion by using green water now consumed by natural biomes (grasslands, wetlands, forests); and virtual water by import from better endowed regions. If consumptive use is going to be increased, runoff production may decrease, depleting rivers and producing effects on aquatic ecosystems. If more green water is going to be appropriated by infringing on natural biomes, terrestrial ecosystems will be affected. The issue of ecological security as well as ecosystem services therefore will have to be better penetrated, based on an awareness of these two unavoidable future challenges (Falkenmark 2004).

Figure 4: Water and water catchment area as a dynamic usage system, and its extracted amounts and major usages. Source: Figure redrawn and modified from Falkenmark (2004), data from EEA (2005a).

2.1.3. Landscape, biodiversity and soils: land cover stocks and flows The need to integrate thinking about landscape, biodiversity and soils through the analysis of land cover, can best be explained in terms of the model of land cover and ecosystem accounts proposed in the SEEA 2003 Handbook on Integrated Economic 21


and Environmental Accounting (United Nations et al. 2003). The latter is a general document which proposes a ‘common framework for economic and environmental information’ that will allow both an analysis of the contribution that the environment makes to the economy, and of the impact that the economy has for the environment. Four basic types of account are envisaged, namely those describing: •

The physical flows of materials and energy, which can be used to assess the extent to which more sustainable patterns of consumption and production are being achieved by ‘decoupling’ economic growth from impact or dependency on natural resource systems;

The environmental transactions relevant to the good management of the environment, such as expenditures made by businesses, governments and households to protect the environment, environmental taxes or permits;

The stock and change of environmental assets (broadly represented by natural resources, land and ecosystems) measured either in physical or monetary terms; and,

The depletion and degradation of natural capital in relation to the aggregates used by SNA.

The development of the third type of account, namely those for land cover is currently an important focus for work being undertaken at the European scale by the European Environment Agency (Haines-Young and Weber 2006). An understanding of the patterns and processes of land cover change is clearly seen by the EEA as being important in its own right. It is also argued, however, that land account offer a platform for the development of a broader set of environmental and ecosystem accounts which can be better used to understand the cross-cutting drivers that impact on our ‘natural capital’, including the elements related to landscape, biodiversity and soils. Figure 5 described the basic logic that underlies the approach to land accounting proposed by the SEEA Handbook. If we use the ‘accounting approach’ to represent land cover change, then if changes in land cover and use are monitored over time, then at the outset (time 1), we can envisage that there is an ‘opening balance’ which represents the physical areas of different land cover types. These may include different types of woodland or agricultural land, or different types of urban cover. Over time, land cover elements are transformed by the process of land cover change to produce the ‘closing balance’ at time 2. The gains and losses (‘flows’) are the transfers of land area between the land use types. Despite its simplicity, the conceptual model described in Figure 5is a powerful one because it provides a framework in which we can ask some fundamental questions about land use and sustainability. If we consider the quantitative changes in stock levels for a given land cover type over time, the first important question that we may ask is whether the gains in stock compensate for any of the losses that were experienced over the accounting period. As many commentators have argued, questions about compensation are fundamental to the issues associated with strong and weak notions of sustainability. In relation to the FORESCENE project the model shown in Figure 5 is relevant when we ask questions about the impact of changes in land cover on biodiversity. For example, if the focus of interest is the forestry sector, then clearly net changes in woodland 22


FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

cover are determined by the balance between the processes of afforestation and deforestation. When we consider such changes and ask whether the goals of sustainability are being achieved, then we need to look at the qualities of the woodland elements that are being gained or lost. One area of woodland is not always equivalent to another. This is especially the case when we compare the biodiversity value of new woodlands created through recent planting with the more mature woodlands that might have been removed by felling. Supplementary accounts describing the biodiversity characteristics of the woodland stock can be developed to extend the accounting model so that we address the question of compensation in this particular case. What the example illustrates, however, is that in a more general sense, understanding the link between biodiversity, land cover and the processes that drive land cover change is fundamental to any analysis of the relationships between economy and environment. The second important question of sustainability that Figure 5 highlights, concerns the issue of whether the quality of the stock carried over from time 1 to time 2 has been maintained in terms of the benefits it provides to people or the support it offers to wider ecosystem functions. The maintenance of the integrity of stocks of natural capital has also been highlighted by a number of commentators as being fundamental to planning for sustainability. The relevance of this second question to the FORESCENE project can be illustrated by reference to the relationship between land cover and soils. Soil, like biodiversity, can be viewed as one of the important qualities of a given area of land. Clearly changes in land cover may impact upon or transform the properties of the underling soils, as in the case when built-up areas replace agricultural land. However, even though the stock of a given type of land cover may not change in area terms, the land management practices that affect the stock ‘carried over’ may just be as important for the soil resource. Changes in agricultural practices, for example, may make the soil more or less vulnerable to soil erosion.

Figure 5: Flow accounts for land cover and the relationship between the concepts of stocks and flows and fundamental questions about sustainable development Source: EEA 2006a

As in the case of biodiversity, supplementary accounts can clearly be used to show the association of different soil types or soil vulnerability classes with the different stock of 23


land cover. Land accounts that describe the various qualities of land, can therefore be a valuable framework for understanding the extent to which our natural resource base is being sustained. A more formal representation of the structure of land accounts is shown in Figure 6, which illustrates how the processes of land cover change can be linked to the different sectors of the economy to understand some of the cross-cutting drives of change. The schema is derived from the SEEA Handbook on integrated environmental accounting, which describes how one may move from the representation of the change in land cover over time as a transition matrix (see Figure 6, left part) to the representation of the transfers of land into and out of the different land cover categories as a set of ‘flows’ (Figure 6, right part), that can be linked to the ‘functions’ (i.e. purposes or economic activities) associated with a given piece of land. Land use functions can then be linked to the various economic or activity sectors that make use of the resources associated with land. A limitation of the model shown in Figure 6 is that it fails to make explicit the spatial context in which land cover, land use functions and different economic activity sectors interact. While individual qualities (biodiversity, soil etc.) can be associated with particular land cover types, in the ‘real world’ the output of ecosystem goods and services also often depends on the combination of cover types or ecosystems that are found in a particular area. Thus it may be argued that the identification and analysis of benefits derived from natural resource systems can only be achieved if the problem is approached at a ‘landscape level’. Thus we need to understand not only how the drivers of land cover change impact on ecosystem goods and services, but also how these impacts are mediated in different places through the different combinations of land covers that we find there, and thus how different landscapes (catchments, districts, regions) might respond.

Figure 6: The structure of land cover and land use accounts

Source: after SEEA 2003

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FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

It is not necessary to discuss the land accounting framework in any further detail here, except to make two points that are especially relevant in the context of the FORESCENE project: a. In searching for a better understanding of the cross-cutting drivers that affect natural resources such as soils, biodiversity, water and landscape, the relationship to land cover and the processes of land cover change is probably fundamental. The processes that drive land cover change can be related to economic and social pressures, as well as to more ‘natural’ drivers such as those associated with climate or sea levels. Thus the approach is consistent with the general model of socio-industrial metabolism that has been proposed as the basis of the FORESCENE Project. Changes in the stock of land cover are one of the pathways through which pressures on the underlying factors that drive change in the production system may be exerted. b. Land accounts offer a way of integrating thinking about the different themes being considered by FORESCENE, given the potential they have for linking with the analysis of material flows and wastes in production chains, that is so important in the context of policies for sustainable consumption and production. In the long term, the development of integrated economic and environmental accounts will expose current understandings of the way social and natural systems are coupled to more critical review. Thus the analysis of the causes and consequences of land cover change will be central to the analysis being attempted through the FORESCENE ‘analytical matrix’ (see section 6.4) which attempts to delineate activities, driving forces relevant to each thematic area and ultimately the identification of cross-cutting drivers of change.

2.2.

Driving forces, activities and underlying factors

One of the overall goals of FORESCENE is to contribute to the integration of Community policies by analysing the cross-sectoral driving forces for environmental problem issues such as water, soil, biodiversity, landscape, resource use and waste. This will allow to define sustainability goals and to identify suitable response measures with cross-cutting effects, i.e. policy measures with multi-beneficial effects. In doing so, it will also foster integration of environmental aspects into sectoral policies such as agriculture, transport, production and consumption. It is only by understanding and analysing the driving forces of the deeper underlying unsustainability problems that potential solutions can be explored. But, as a matter of fact, we have to acknowledge that the relationship between the environmental system and the anthropogenic system is not sufficiently understood. Hence, there remains a certain arbitrariness in the distinction between the two systems. For obvious reasons we will thus have to simplify causal relations in our systems analysis. As shown in section 2.1.1 the concept of the “socio-industrial metabolism” provides a comprehensive systems perspective of the interaction between environment and economy/society. It will thus be used as a basis or framework concept for the FORESCENE project as a whole, and for the definition and delineation of driving forces in particular.

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In a very general manner drivers can be understood as any natural or human-induced factors leading to increased or reduced environmental pressure and subsequently to a change in the environmental system. In the literature, however, there is no common understanding of the term "driving forces". There are, however, a variety of general frameworks that make use of the term driving force, without, however, describing it in great detail. One example includes the Driving Pressure State Impact Response (DPSIR) framework used by the European Environment Agency. The adaptation of the DPSIR assessment framework of the EEA serves as a basis for analyzing the interrelated factors that impact the environment in FORESCENE. According to this framework the driving forces of the socio-economic metabolism result in environmental pressures, which then change the state of the environment. The changed state of the environment leads then to an impact, e.g. loss of biodiversity. Policy makers and institutions respond to the impact by means of regulations and laws, addressing the different stages of the DPSIR framework. The framework is built on indicators for pressures, states and impacts. Pressure indicators describe the variables, which directly cause (or may cause) environmental problems (e.g. GHG emissions cause Global Warming Potential, resource extraction causes landscape changes). State indicators monitor the state of the environment, whereas impact indicators describe the ultimate effects of the changed state. Yet the DPSIR framework is a relative linear approach that does not reflect sufficiently the interrelation between different driving factors nor the multi-scale nature of decisionmaking. In order to provide an example about the complexity of interwoven driving forces and the multiscale nature of decision-making, we will briefly consider the construction sector, which is characterized by its high material requirement. Over 40 percent of the domestic material consumption in EU 15 is attributed to this sector. The construction sector carries out a number of activities, mainly with regards to buildings and transport infrastructure, which are associated with different environmental burdens along the production-consumption chain. At the beginning of the chain, for instance, construction activities require the excavation and translocation of soil. Inevitably this leads to an environmental burden in the local and regional surroundings with impacts such as landscape changes as well as possible losses of natural habitats or disintegration effects, possibly leading to a reduction in biodiversity, hydrological impacts and sometimes eco-toxic effects. The input of building materials, minerals and fuels for construction and during the use phase of buildings and infrastructures lead to a stock addition and emissions to air, water and soil and to further special demands. In the case of Germany the built-up land is currently increasing by about 420 km2 per year, mainly at the expense of agricultural land. This growing urban sprawl induces further material flows in other economic sectors, such as transport and motor vehicles. A number of driving factors can be identified that will influence the performance of the construction activities. Economic development may have influence, because a certain amount of peoples' income (GDP) is invested in buildings and infrastructures (depending on the development status of a country). These investment decisions will also be influenced by other factors, for instance by consumption patterns. Available data indicate an increase in floor space per capita. In the long-term this might be influenced by 26


FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

demographic factors such as ageing of society and cultural factors which drive the trend towards more single households,. The demand for transport infrastructure is also influenced by population density. It can be assumed that in countries with lower population density the building and maintenance of roads and railways will require larger amounts of resources per capita than countries with higher population density. There are also factors that influence the quality of construction activities (and their products), which impact the quantity of resource use. The resource requirements of the construction sector are influenced by the available technologies, which e.g. determine the amount of minerals per square meter or cubic meter of the constructed area. Innovation might lead to changes in construction design with associated changes in the composition of material input and in energy demand during the use phase of a building (e.g. for heating or cooling). The construction design will also be influenced by natural system conditions such as climate or topography. There is thus a whole variety and combination of factors that influence the volume or quantity of construction activities and thus the volume of resources used by the construction sector. Instead of the construction sector one could also look at a variety of other production activities or product groups. An analysis of the driving forces will thus lead to a broad range of influencing factors that directly or indirectly impact the environment. These driving factors are more or less interwoven, influencing the resource requirement of economies directly or by indirect interactions. In order to operationalize the term “driver” for the purpose of the FORESCENE project, we distinguish between direct drivers (= activities) and indirect drivers (= underlying factors). Direct drivers unequivocally take influence on the environmental system. These type of drivers predominantly correspond to the understanding of drivers in the DPSIR framework. The “activities” are addressed as proximate causes for environmental pressures and can be measured to a differing degree of accuracy. From the conceptual view this type of driver can be seen as an endogenous driver to the “socio-industrial metabolism”. We will refer to the direct drivers in the following as activities.

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Figure 7: Activities and underlying factors in the socio-industrial metabolism.

A preliminary definition of relevant variables for this type of driver is: • Activities in production and consumption determine pressures on the environment which against the background of the system perspective of the socioindustrial metabolism can be distinguished between: o Inputs to production and consumption such as extraction and harvests of resources; o Outputs to the environment such as emissions to air, water and soil; o Changes in material stock resulting from construction of infrastructure and buildings; 28


FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

o

Changes in land use (changes between different types of land use, and changes of intensity of a certain type of land use).

In contrast, indirect drivers exert influence more diffusely, nevertheless determining the environmental performance of activities. Indirect drivers, in the following referred to as underlying factors, can be defined as exogenous drivers, influencing one or more activities and, at the same time, being interrelated amongst each other. The environmental impact of driving forces will probably not be grasped by looking at singular causal chains but rather by understanding their effect on activities. The underlying factors determine the quality and quantity of activities, which influence their environmental performance. These may comprise: o Economic development (e.g. GDP growth, structure of the economy, global trade, investment patterns) o Production patterns (e.g. innovation, resource intensity, composition of material input) o Consumption patterns (e.g. housing, transport, communication, leisure) o Demographic factors (e.g. population growth, population density, ageing society) o Natural systems conditions (e.g. climate, topography, natural catastrophes) o Institutional settings, policies and management activities. A special role is attributed to institutional factors, such as policies and management activities, since they represent the response to impacts on the environment. The institutional response can be directed to mitigate pressures, rearrange the state of the environment, influence activities, or control some of the driving forces through adequate policy measures (e.g. regulatory instruments, planning procedures, voluntary programmes and informative measures). Some of the driving forces may be changed more easily than others. Climate change can significantly alter the framework conditions of the driving forces but is difficult to control on a short time scale. Institutional change and development will also take time, however, given that the right institutions are in place, they can exert control over the driving forces of environmental pressure via economic and technological factors (e.g. with regard to investment patterns or resource intensity of products). Besides the controlling feed-back loop of the response indicated in Figure 7, which seems to be a key towards sustainable development, there might be other feed-back loops, which may have an accelerating or attenuating effect on the environmental performance of human activities. A detailed analysis of driving forces for the three problem areas of resource use and waste, water and landscape, biodiversity and soils is provided in section 6.2, together with the determination of cross-cutting drivers.

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3. Topic: Resource Use and Waste 3.1.

Introduction

Natural resources can be defined in a broad sense. This encompasses the source and sink functions of the natural environment, i.e. the provision of raw materials and space, as well as the absorption of residual materials (waste and emissions). Environmental impacts are associated not only with the extraction and harvesting of raw materials but also with the subsequent production, use and disposal of products and goods. It is the total of environmental impacts associated with the entire life cycle of raw materials, which has to be considered. In the European Union wealth and prosperity is based on the intensive utilisation of natural resources. The average domestic material consumption (DMC) within the EU15 sums up to about 16 tonnes per year and capita. Still, there can be no doubt that progress has been achieved in the past with regard to resource efficiency. In the face of an increase of GDP over the past decade, economic growth relatively decoupled from material input, fluctuating around the same magnitude over the time period. Nevertheless, in absolute terms, resource consumption, with a share of about 75% nonrenewables, still stays with regard to volume and composition on an unsustainable high level. At the same time, a significant shift in resource use from domestic sources towards imports can be observed. The resource requirements of the EU, in particular metals and industrial minerals, are increasingly met by imports. These material flows are associated with indirect “hidden” flows, thus increasingly shifting environmental burdens to other regions of the world. A further burden shifting arises from the physical growth of EU economies. The physical growth is related to the expansion of build-up areas and the requirements for the maintenance of buildings and infrastructures. Currently the material stock of the economy is growing by about 10 tonnes per capita and year, which is around 60% of the annual direct material input of the economy. This will inevitably lead to an increase of construction waste in the future, thus shifting environmental burden to future generations.

3.2.

Main policy goals and targets

It is broadly acknowledged that if current patterns of natural resource use in European economies are kept unaltered, further degradation and depletion of natural resources will result and constitute long term brakes on growth. At the EU policy level there is consensus that it is a core challenge to facilitate and stimulate economic growth while shifting towards a sustainable path for natural resource use. The strategic goal for the next decade, set up at the 2000 European Council Meeting in Lisbon is to “become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion” (CEC – Commission of the European Communities 2000). The Lisbon Agenda, which focuses primarily on jobs and growth, was complemented by the European Council Conclusions of Gothenburg (2001), which laid down the main ele30


FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

ments of a strategy for sustainable development. This was widely seen as adding a third, environmental, dimension to the Lisbon process. The Sustainable Development Strategy that is built upon the Gothenburg Conclusions identified the reduction of resource use and the environmental impact of waste as one of the focal targets. Headline objective is to break the link between economic growth, the use of resources and the generation of waste. The Sixth Community Environment Action Programme (CEC – Commission of the European Communities 2002) identified natural resources and wastes as one of four key environmental priorities. With regard to sustainable use and management of natural resources and wastes the 6th EAP set out the following objectives: •

Consumption of resources should not exceed carrying capacity of the environment;

Decoupling of economic growth and resource use, increasing drastically resource and energy efficiency comprising a 22% target of the electricity production from renewable sources by 2010;

Reduction of volumes of waste generated through waste prevention, better resource efficiency and a shift towards more sustainable production and consumption patterns;

Reduction in quantity of municipal and hazardous waste while avoiding related emissions to air, water, soil;

Increasing recycling rates of wastes generated and reduction of the hazardousness of disposed wastes to as little risk as possible.

Under its 6th EAP, the Commission developed a thematic strategy on the sustainable use of natural resources (TSSURE) (CEC 2003b and CEC 2005c). It is meant to complement the strategies on the prevention and recycling of waste (CEC – Commission of the European Communities 2005a) and Integrated Product Policy, to provide an overall framework for sustaining the resource basis of the EU, and to help filling gaps, healing deficiencies and supporting the integration of environmental concerns into sectoral policies. More specifically, the aim of the TSSURE is to "improve understanding and knowledge of European resource use, its negative environmental impact and significance in the EU and globally". Besides improved methods and indicators for monitoring, and support for awareness raising, it shall also "foster the application of strategic approaches and processes both in economic sectors and in the member states". The TSSURE stresses the ultimate goal as being the reduction of the environmental impacts of resource use (rather than resource use per se). A double decoupling is suggested for sustaining resource use: first, decoupling of economic growth from resource use (through increased resource efficiency), and second, a decoupling of resource use from its environmental impacts (through mitigation of resource specific impacts). Both effects combined are expected to enhance "eco-efficiency". To achieve this objective it is inevitable that policy-makers will need a better understanding of the driving forces of resource use that result in environmental pressures and impacts. In particular, there is a need for the analysis of cross-sectoral driving forces for environmental problem issues such as water, soil, biodiversity, landscape, resource use and waste in order to explore policy measures with multi-beneficial effects. 31


3.3.

Environmental pressures and material flows

The main concerns related to the increasing use of natural resources are the associated environmental impacts. Environmental pressures result from discharges of pollutants, releases of harmful substances, consumption of resources beyond reproductive capacities and conversion of natural land into mined “lunar landscapes�, arable land or urban zones. These cause broad impacts on the environment and the society as a whole, as changes in environmental conditions affect human beings, ecosystems and man-made infrastructure alike. There is considerable experience in quantifying the use of natural resources. Pressures can be expressed in terms of quantities of pollutants discharged, weights or volumes of resource extracted or material consumed, volumes of fish or timber harvested, or, at the most aggregated level, presented as material flows through an economy in tonnes per time (usually per year). 3.3.1. Resource use The aggregated material consumption of the EU-15 has only changed little over the last two decades, keeping steady at about 15 to 16 tonnes per capita. There are, however, considerable differences between the individual countries, both concerning absolute levels (which vary from about 12 tonnes per capita in Italy to 38 tonnes per capita in Finland (see Figure 8), as well as regarding development trends of the direct material consumption (DMC) over time.

Figure 8: Composition of aggregated resource consumption (Domestic Material Consumption, DMC) in 2000 Source: Eurostat and IFF 2002; data set B

The material consumption of the EU-15 in 2000, as shown in Figure 9, is dominated by a share of construction minerals of 44%, comprising minerals such as gravel, sands, natural stones or clay. This is followed by biomass (26%), which includes biomass from agriculture, forestry and fishery. Fossil fuels, like hard coal, lignite, petroleum and its derivatives, and natural gas account for almost a fourth of the EU’s material consump32


FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

tion. The smallest share of 6%, in mass, is represented by the aggregated consumption of metals and industrial minerals.

Figure 9: Composition of the domestic material consumption of the EU-15 in 2000 Source: Eurostat and IFF 2002; data set B

Figure 10: Total Material Requirement of the EU-15 Source: Bringezu and SchĂźtz 2001

The domestic material consumption is an indicator that reflects the apparent material consumption of an economy. It does not account for unapparent material flows, which are named either hidden or indirect flows. Figure 10 shows the material flows used by the economy of the EU-15 along with the corresponding economically unused material flows. In 2000, hidden flows accounted for 64% of the total material requirement (TMR). It is rather stable compared with the situation ten years before (67% in 1990). 33


When considering the evolution of the different terms of the European TMR over the past ten years, it appears that domestic (used and unused) extraction decreased (by 1% and 23%, respectively). During the same period, imports increased by 20% and the associated indirect flows by 8%. In absolute terms, however, the hidden flows associated with imports increased by about twice the amount the imports did (454 Mt and 237 Mt, respectively). This sheds light on another problem, the shifting of environmental burden. The extraction of raw materials (especially fossil fuels and metals), which is the most costly operation in terms of mobilised resources (and all the associated environmental problems), tends to happen more and more outside the EU. The development of global trade and the depletion or inexistence of domestic reserves are some explanations for this ongoing trend. In the present study, eleven sectors of activity were picked up for their potential relevance with regard to the resource use issue. Some preliminary results from the “NAMEA-based environmental Input-Output analyses” 2 project (Moll et al. 2006) point to the ‘usual suspects’. The NAMEA study, using input-output methodology, considers the Direct Material Input (DMI) as an indicator for material flows (only the apparent ones). It appears clearly that regarding domestic extraction, the most important industries are ‘construction’, ‘mining and quarrying’ (of energy and non energy producing materials) and agriculture. The most important activities receiving physical imports are the manufacture of coke and refined petroleum products, the manufacture of basic metals and fabricated metal products, energy and water supply, and transport. In a lifecycle-wide perspective, the food and beverage industry also appear to be relevant. Upstream in the production chain, agriculture is responsible for heavy resource and land use, which can also contribute to burden shifting, if conducted abroad. The following process phases preparing, freezing and transporting the food are particularly energy intensive. Generally speaking, the activities of concern regarding resource use, and with possibly the highest potential for improvement, are actually the so-called ‘basic needs’: housing, infrastructures (those two rely on the construction sector), food (which means agriculture, processing and delivering) and transport (especially private transport means such as motor vehicles). Although all types of material resources need to be used much more efficiently in the future, the major types of resources also differ with regard to main problems, future perspective and regulatory status quo (see also Moll et al. 2003). 3.3.2. Fossil fuels Fossil fuels belong to the group of the most important and strategic non-renewable natural resources of modern society. Ever since the invention of the steam engine, the demand for fossil fuels has been growing constantly, satisfying the energy requirements of industrialized countries. Fossil fuels are mainly used for energy generation via combustion. Lignite and hard coal are mainly used for electricity production and partly also for industrial processing (iron and steel, petrochemicals). Besides electricity, the main uses of oil and gas occur in transport and residential heating and also as feedstock for the petrochemical indus2

NAMEA: National Accounts Matrix including Environmental Accounts

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FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

try. The EU’s apparent consumption of fossil fuels in relation to the world production varies across the different fuels. In the case of lignite, the EU is one of the major producers and users with more than one fourth of the world production. About 3% of world-wide hard coal production takes place within the EU territory. About the same amount of hard coal is net-imported to the EU so that the actual consumption of hard coal amounts to some 7% of world production. Almost one fifth of world oil production is consumed within the EU. Only 5% of world oil production is extracted within the EU, indicating net-imports of oil into the EU (Moll et al. 2003). Figure 11 shows the rising importance of fossil fuels imports for the EU-15. Ten years ago the imports represented for the first time a larger tonnage than domestic extraction. Imports represented in 2002 about 60% of the DMC. Figure 12 presents the implications of fossil fuel use in the EU-15 with regard to the associated hidden flows. During the ten year period 1990-2000, domestic extraction (used) decreased by 23% and the unused domestic extraction decreased by 40%. But in parallel imports increased by 23% and the indirect flows by 29%.

Figure 11: Domestic material consumption associated with fossil fuels in the EU-15 Source: Eurostat and IFF 2002; data set B

35


Figure 12: Material flows associated with fossil fuels in EU-15 Source: Bringezu and Sch端tz 2001

Pressures: The major threats associated with the use of fossil fuels are the consequences of combustion and resulting greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change mitigation policies have been initiated by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the subsequent Kyoto process and certain follow-up activities are underway. What has been neglected so far, is that the extraction of fossil fuels is linked to significant landscape changes, hydrological impacts and habitat disruptions at various places over the world, especially concerning coal mining. Although some of the extracted nonenergy material is used for infrastructures, it does not seem realistic to expect that overburden and extraction waste of fossil fuel mining could to a significant extent be used for other purposes. Alternative ways to finally deposit carbon dioxide through sequestration also seem to be rather limited with regard to available volume of underground caverns or are associated with high risks of leakage (e.g. submarine deposition). Unsurprisingly, the energy and chemical sectors are the most relevant activities for the use of fossil fuels. Energy intensive industries also play an important role as indirect users. As already mentioned the food and beverage sector is among them. The production of basic metals (e.g. aluminium from bauxite) is also very energy intensive. Trends: Due to the growth in the transport sector as well as in the household and service sector, the consumption of fossil fuels is still rising. But at the same time, environmental pressures, like emissions to the air, are decoupling from energy carrier use. In the EU15, fossil fuel related emissions of air pollutants (SO2, NOx, NMVOC, CO2) were significantly reduced during the 1980s and 1990s, mainly by means of end of pipe technologies. Total energy related greenhouse gas emissions have decreased slightly over the past decade, while CO2 emissions increased slightly (EEA 2005b). About half of the fossil fuels input of the EU-15 economy is imported. From the second half of the 1980s onwards the share of imports increased steadily and reached a 36


FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

growth rate of about 10% between 1992 and 2000 while domestic extraction decreased at about the same amount. There are, of course, a number of factors explaining, directly or not, the increasing use of fossil fuel. One should actually consider a complex interlinkage of underlying factors. But in a first approach, partial explanations could come from the economic growth, coupled with production patterns (e.g. in chemical and energy sectors) characterised by a limited share of renewables in the material input. On top of the increasing demand, the depletion or limited size of domestic reserves explain the massive turn to imports. 3.3.3. Metals and industrial minerals Since metals and industrial minerals show similar patterns in extraction and use, they are treated within one section. The metal and ore sector comprises metals such as iron and steel, bauxite and aluminium, copper, zinc, lead, nickel and precious metals. The industrial minerals sector includes diamonds, precious stones, mineral fertilizer, potash, salt and others. Metals and industrial minerals are naturally non-renewable but technically metals are fully recyclable and industrial minerals to a certain extent depending on the type and use. Overall the imports of metals and industrial minerals follow an increasing trend, interrupted by slight decreases every two years or so (see Figure 13). The domestic extraction, on the other hand, shows a steady decreasing trend. This, coupled with rather strong exports, explains that imports are actually higher than DMC in the second half of the 1990s. Figure 14 illustrates the burden supported by countries exporting raw materials such as metals and industrial minerals. In 2000, the ratio of indirect flows over imports reached 12.5:1. But, even though the ratio decreased compared to ten years before, the amount of materials mobilised outside the EU is larger. Imports indeed increased by 13% over the period, while indirect flows increased by 2%.

37


Figure 13: Domestic material consumption associated with industrial minerals and metal ores in the EU-15 Source: Eurostat and IFF 2002; data set B

Figure 14: Material flows associated metals and industrial minerals in the EU-15 Source: Bringezu and Sch端tz 2001

Metals are of special relevance, since their production goes along with the movement of large amounts of unused extraction and energy inputs for the beneficiation of ores and refining of the finally consumed high-grade metals. They are therefore the material flows with the highest specific total material requirement (TMR)3, due to the high volume of hidden flows. Over the nineties a decreasing domestic extraction in the EU-15 could be observed. Linked to this the unused domestic extraction decreased as well. At the same time imports of metals from outside the Union increased in a slightly higher proportion, leading to an overall higher direct material consumption. The considerable high levels of hid-

3

Total Material Requirement (TMR) comprises the direct material input and the hidden flows.

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FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

den flows associated to the imports of metals result into a significant increase of the total material requirement (Schütz et al. 2004). The comparison of Figure 13 and Figure 14 with Figure 11 and Figure 12, respectively, shows that the resource category ‘metals and industrial minerals’ is dominated by the former. The evolutions of the imports of metals (increasing) and of domestic extraction (decreasing) give the overall pattern. In 2000, metals imports represented about 60% of whole ‘metals and industrial minerals’ imports, while the exports accounted for about 50% of the total.

Figure 15: Domestic material consumption associated with metals in the EU-15 Source: Eurostat and IFF 2002; data set B

Pressures: Main pressures on the environment occur on the inflow-side through the extraction of metal ores and industrial minerals and the associated landscape disruptions, hydrological impacts, and habitat destruction due to large extraction volumes. Dependent on the type of metal ore, pollution of soil and water (heavy metals, acids) may also constitute a problem. Indicators proposed to anticipate the volume related effects are the specific TMR and specific land use per tonne metal extracted or imported. Indicators on the pollution of soil and water are dependent on the metal and also on regional or local circumstances.

39


Figure 16: Material flows associated with metals in the EU-15 Source: Bringezu and Sch端tz 2001

On the outflow-side, polluting emissions of, for example, heavy metals constitute the main impact. Information can be obtained from specifically tailored indicators such as heavy metal concentration in sewage sludge or metal content in waste from batteries. Trends in consumption and use and the related environmental pressures vary from metal to metal. Whereas steel and aluminium play an important role due the high demand, precious metals, and base metals like copper and zinc, are significant because of their large amounts of hidden flows; lead, nickel and cadmium because of their human- and eco-toxicity. Some industrial minerals, especially precious stones like diamonds, show a similar pattern as observed with the metals: they are mainly imported, and are associated with large hidden flows. The flows of industrial minerals stem from the earth crust, are used for various purposes such as precious assets (diamonds, precious stones) as well as for dissipative use in agriculture (mineral fertiliser), and thus are finally either deposited on land or are dispersed via the soil into water bodies where they may contribute to eutrophication. Dissipative use of metals is especially relevant for the heavy metals, such as copper (used in roof constructions, fungicides, wood preservation and washing agents) and zinc and tin (coating of steel products). Therefore, the environmental performance related to material flows may vary considerably. The issue of mineral fertilizer use in agriculture, however, appears to be a cross-cutting problem. Trends: Industrial economies such as the EU are increasingly producing base metals and manufactures based on imports of raw materials from developing countries, and they export a rising amount of metal products to the rest of the world. The disparity between countries with regard to the asymmetry of economic gains and environmental burden is going to grow. Recycling may contribute to reductions in resource consumption, al40


FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

though only to a limited extent due to the ongoing physical growth of the world’s technosphere. New products, e.g. for ICT and energy conversion require rising amounts of rare metals such as platinum, which are associated with significant ecological rucksacks in mining and refining. Here again, economic growth and small or no domestic reserves lead to increasing imports of metals and industrial metals. The composition of material input to industrial processes or finished products also plays a role. But a physically growing economy cannot rely totally on the sole secondary input; primary materials are still needed to a significant extent. 3.3.4. Construction minerals, excavation and dredging Construction minerals comprise sand, gravel, natural stones, clay, limestone, etc., and are mainly extracted domestically. In Germany sand, gravel and natural stones accounted for 84% of the total construction minerals in 2001. Construction minerals are naturally non-renewable, but technically through recycling. Construction minerals are extracted from the earth crust and will, after their use phase in infrastructure and buildings finally be deposited again in the earth crust, although at different locations and compositions. In the EU-15, domestic consumption of construction minerals increased slightly during the 1990s, reaching 2.6 billion tonnes per year (about 7.0 tonnes per capita). Construction minerals are mainly extracted and used domestically, thus imports are not significant as shown in Figure 17. Domestic material consumption is practically limited to domestic used extraction. Unused domestic extraction represents about 17% of the TMR if one excludes ‘excavation and dredging’ from the account. The share of unused extraction reaches 35% if ‘excavation and dredging’ are accounted for as hidden flows.

Figure 17: Material flows associated with construction minerals and excavation Source: Bringezu and Schütz 2001

Pressures: Pressures on the environment occur at the extraction site due to the deposition of unused extraction and a high noise level of the activities. More profound, however, are 41


the interferences with the environment during the use phase of the materials in form of additional buildings and infrastructures, since they cover a significantly larger area. Construction minerals mainly contribute to the net additions to stock of the physical economy thereby contributing to the increase of built-up area. The environmental pressures are among others a loss of natural habitats or disintegration effects, possibly leading to a reduction of biodiversity; global warming potential due to the emission of greenhouse gases (for construction and during the use phase). Furthermore, the processing of materials is energy and therefore emission intensive. After the use at the end of their life-cycle, construction minerals are difficult to recycle or re-use due to a conglomeration of different materials and are mostly turned into waste. Trends: The use of minerals such as cement, sand and gravel, limestone etc. is linked to the construction of buildings and infrastructures. In the ongoing phase of physical growth, demand for these materials will further grow especially in developing and transition countries. Some industrial countries still have low recycling of construction and demolition waste, and even high rates convey a distorted picture because demolishing waste from buildings is used for road construction (down-cycling). There are some examples that gravel is transported across Europe by truck due to local shortages, and models of construction flows for instance for the Netherlands show that this country will always be dependant from importing construction minerals from neighbouring countries only for maintenance of the existing buildings and infrastructures. 3.3.5. Biomass About 20% of the material input into the European economy corresponds to biomass from agriculture (grazing and cultivation), forestry, and fishing and hunting. Biomass is naturally renewable; yet the actual regeneration depends on proper, i.e. sustainable, cultivation schemes. The flows of biomass are produced by natural processes and originate from plants, which use solar energy to synthesise a variety of organic substances. Biomass is either cultivated in agriculture, forestry and aquaculture or it stems from wild harvest (including fisheries). After use, organic residuals and their nutrient components are either recycled (only in cultivation mode) or they directly and finally enter land deposits or water bodies. The main environmental problems due to biomass use are the overexploitation of wild forests and fish reserves, and the depletion of fertile soils and the overload of manure and fertiliser through cultivation practices, which are not adjusted to local environmental capacities. With 6 tones per capita biomass represents 12% of the TMR in the EU-15. This is only 2% lower than the US biomass harvest in 1994. Most of the biomass stems from agriculture. As shown in Figure 18, the EU-15 is a net importer of biomass, but DMC is still dominated by domestic production, which is eight times higher than imports. The conditions of production are probably very different domestically and overseas: while the ratio between domestic production and imports is about eight, the ratio between erosion associated with domestic production and that associated with imports reaches only 1.3 (see Figure 19). This is another example of shifting the environmental burden to some 42


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other countries. As Figure 20 shows, the shifted burden of erosion is likely to stem from crops production (55% of the European TMR for biomass). When including feedstock production, it is 87% of the TMR associated with biomass in the EU-15 that is covered.

Figure 18: Domestic material consumption associated with biomass in the EU-15 Source: Eurostat and IFF 2002; data set B

Figure 19: Material flows associated with biomass Source: Bringezu and SchĂźtz 2001

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Figure 20: Composition of the TMR associated with biomass in the EU-15 Source: Moll et al. 2003

Pressures The current use of biomass is characterized by overexploitation of natural productive capacities, e.g. as in the case of fisheries, overload of the environment through inefficient use of fertilizers, the extension of arable land at the expense of natural ecosystems and a high risk of land degradation. The sectoral threats can be highlighted as:

Sector

Threats

Fishing

Overfishing: 1/3 of world fish stock is estimated to be overexploited (Complex interactions in ecosystem >> loss of biodiversity).

Forestry,

Industrial emissions of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide;

Other biomass from forests

Climate change;

Agriculture

Production intensification is likely to lead to further soil erosion and loss of biodiversity; Further demand for bio-fuels and biomaterials tends to expand worldwide arable land at the expense of natural forests and savannas.

Loss of biodiversity and habitat change.

Most of the renewable resources in the EU are not cultivated in a sustainable manner. This is especially true for agriculture, which is associated with a continuous degradation of fertile soil due to erosion and excessive use of mineral fertilizer and/or manure, indicating a high risk of eluviation of nutrients and hence increasing problems of water pollution (EEA 2005c). The expanding global trade, the growing food and beverage industry as well as the energy sector may cause some further ‘burden shifting’. The transport sector, too, 44


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could soon utilize large quantities of bio-fuels, whose production exacerbates pressures on rain forests. Trends: The main challenge for agriculture, forestry and fisheries will be to develop and orientate towards sustainable modes of cultivation and sustainable yields. In some countries, progress is being made towards this end by introducing standards for organic farming as well as labels for sustainable forestry, and industry has also indicated selfcommitment in applying standards for own products stemming from integrated agriculture and fisheries respecting sustainable yield thresholds. Yet, in the EU-15 and the EFTA countries the share of organic farming has just reached a quota of about 4% of the agricultural area. At the same time the expansion of built-up land (e.g. due to urban sprawl and the demands for transport infrastructure) in the long run may increase environmental pressures. Beyond that, the expansion of arable land under cultivation for the production of bio-fuel crops might lead to further agricultural intensification, which is considered to be an environmental pressure (EEA 2005a). The mitigation of the development of unsustainable intensive agriculture relies on a multitude of interconnected parameters. Competition for land should be minimised, for instance by limiting urban sprawl over arable land. A diet with less meat could also be part of the solution. The consumer’s willingness to pay for more expensive organic food could also be a key. 3.3.6. Waste It is a proximate assumption of the socio-industrial metabolism that resources entering the technosphere are sooner or later released to the environment in form of solid waste, emissions to air, water or soils, or waste heat. Where a waste management system exists, solid waste can be collected and then either landfilled, incinerated, recycled or reused. Waste in the form of emissions can be reduced via end-of-pipe equipment, turning the gas or water waste flow into solid waste (e.g. filter cakes, sludge from waste water treatment plants) which in turn needs to be taken care of. The major waste streams are: •

municipal waste (mainly originating from households, but waste from commerce and trade, office buildings, institutions and small businesses is also included);

industrial waste (including manufacturing);

waste from the construction and demolition sectors;

mining and quarrying waste;

End-of Life Vehicles (ELVs);

tyres and waste oil;

agricultural waste

packaging waste (up to 17% of municipal waste stream).

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The EU target of 300 kg municipal waste per capita in 2000 was overshot by a number of western European countries, which had waste generation rates of 500 kg per capita and more (EEA 2005a). This represents an enormous loss of resources and energy: municipal waste is preceded by large amounts of industrial waste (during the production phase of the goods), mining waste (e.g. during the extraction of metals necessary for the production), water use, land use, erosion (if biomass was used at some stage), emissions (during production, transport etc), energy use etc. The treatment of waste also requires energy, water and material resources. However, reuse, recycling or incineration of certain materials, whose primary production is resource intensive, result in a net balance in favour of waste management with regards to energy and material use, or emissions. The resource intensity of waste management still grows with the heterogeneity (waste badly sorted) and the dilution of waste (e.g. metals and especially precious metals from electronic scrap diluted in the municipal waste stream; the WEEE4 Directive addresses the problem).

Pressures: The amount of waste, being a flow from the technosphere to the environment, is in itself a pressure to the environment. The total amount of accounted waste generated annually in the European Union exceeds 1,8 billion tonnes. It corresponds to 3,8 tonnes per capita and year (EEA 2005a). The distribution of this volume among different waste categories is shown in Figure 21. The single largest waste stream emanates from mining and quarrying activities, which amounts to 29% of the total generated waste. On average about 50% of the materials extracted turn into waste either directly at the mining stage (overburden of topsoil, waste rock) or during the subsequent beneficiation and refining processes (tailings, smelting slag). The proportion of unused material varies between 80% for the extraction of fossil fuels and 20% for construction minerals extraction. Besides the large volumes, the composition of waste streams and their interactions with the environment give rise to a large range of pressures. Hazardous substances directly released at any production stage (e.g. mercury and arsenic from some precious metals mines) or resulting from chemical processes operating after the release (e.g. acid building in tailings leakages or stack fumes loaded with sulphur) are of great concern for the ecosystems as well as for human health. Even the reintegration of part of the waste stream into the technosphere through reuse, recycling or incinerating can generate potentially hazardous products (e.g. emissions from incinerators). Nonetheless, such a strategy substitutes some primary resources. However, in a growing physical economy, even a recycling rate reaching 100% would not be sufficient to cover the demand.

4

WEEE: Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment

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Figure 21: Composition of waste streams (in mass) in Europe Source: ETC/WMF 2004

Trends: According to scenario projections conducted by the European Topic Centre on Resource and Waste Management (Skovgaard et al. 2005), some waste streams, such as municipal waste, packaging, and construction and demolition waste are likely to relatively decouple from economic growth. 5 Still, they remain on a high level. As already mentioned above, the generation of municipal waste has increased from an average 1985 EU level of 300 kg per capita and year to a level beyond 500 kg per capita and year in Western European countries (EEA 2005a). Packaging waste has reached an average figure of 172 kg per capita in 2002. Projections for the construction and demolition sector estimate a further increase of the waste stream in a magnitude of over 15% by 2020. This figure is in so far significant, as this sector accounts for some 70 to 80% of the total waste (Skovgaard et al. 2005). The paper and cardboard consumption increased in the EU-15 since 1990 by 10-15% to a per capita consumption varying between 100-120 kg (Greece, Ireland, Portugal) and 305-310 kg (Belgium, Netherlands). Industrial waste generation varies between 0,5 tonnes per capita (Germany, Spain, Denmark) and 3 tonnes per capita (Finland) depending on the industrial and technological structure of the countries. For both waste sectors a further increase in waste generation is estimated in the magnitude of more than 45% by 2020. Overall waste generation is deemed to stay a key pressure on the environment. It cannot be assumed that a significant overall reduction of volumes in waste generation can solemnly be achieved by sectoral policy approaches. Rather than solely tackling the output, it is the material input into the economies that needs to be considered further.

5

Relative decoupling means, that the rate of increase in waste generation is lower the growth rate of GDP.

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4. Topic: Water and Water Use 4.1.

Introduction

The initial era of intense water usage can be described as an exploitation era where the water resources were viewed as unlimited compared to the demand, and the basic function of a water agency was to provide no cost or low cost water for a specific purpose, such as navigation, water supply, or hydropower. During an exploitation era, technology is the primary concern. Water for agricultural purposes, recreation, waste assimilation, and in stream uses is abundant and does not appear to be impacted by use during this era. However, this unlimited water usage did not last long in Europe. The second era, the management era, was replacing the first, where conflicting uses for the same body of water exists, and the various water oriented institutions must share the water resources with competing users. This need to optimize multiple uses stimulated economists to participate with the technologists to develop strategies and facilities to meet the growing needs of many different types of water users. The basic technology for storing, diverting, and transporting water has been practiced for centuries. Physical laws force water to run downhill. The classical strategy is to capture the water in the hills, and use gravity to facilitate the distribution to the low lands. Siphons are used to transport water over lower hills, and reservoirs are used to provide pressure heads to generate hydropower and pressurize urban water supply systems. If surface waters were inadequate, water could be pumped from underground supplies if energy was available. Most water resource systems have design lives of decades or centuries, and are major engineering structures. The original Roman aqueducts are still functional, and many dams were built many years ago. A common problem with the development of water resource facilities, such as storage systems, flood protection systems, transportation systems, and treatment facilities, is that the amount of water that flows in the rivers is not uniformly distributed in space or time. The responsibility for the provision of water services in most European countries lays with municipalities, which may delegate or outsource services. There is a large number (more than 30 000) and diversity of operators, both public and private, or mixed. Attempts for an early unified protection of water resources, mainly fresh water, began with the “European Water Legislation” by setting some standards for rivers and lakes used for drinking water in 1975, followed by setting quality targets for drinking water in 1980. The Water Framework Directive (WFD) came into force on 22 December 2000. The Water Framework Directive set the following key aims (CEC – Commission of the European Communities 2000): water management based on river basins, achieving ‘good status’ for all waters, expanding the water protection to all types of water, i.e. surface water and groundwater, combined approach of emission limit values and quality standards. The WFD is also important for its holistic and trans-boundary attitude towards rivers defining them as a whole body, rather than an administrative or political entity, and for its promotion of participatory approaches. The ultimate challenge of a sustainability oriented environmental management is to find the proper balance between humans and the impacts their activities have on ecosys48


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tems. Strong driving forces in terms of continuing population growth, industrialization and urbanization are at work.

4.2.

Main policy goals and targets

The fundamental principle of sustainable development is well established and widely accepted – economic growth can, and should, be made compatible with stewardship of the planet for future generations. At EU and Member State levels, and within individual cities and regions, most policymakers now appreciate the need to reconcile the triple objectives of wealth creation, social cohesion and environmental protection. Many even understand that win-win solutions are possible. But how can they find these solutions? What combination of policies, support measures and technologies will optimise benefits in all three domains? And how should their decisions respond to the often conflicting views of residents, businesses, public authorities and landowners? Europe does not have unlimited water resources. Management of water resources is more a political and economic problem than a technical problem. Previous discussions on technology to support water resource management suggest that exact predictions of where and when water is returned to the earth by the hydrological cycle are not possible. Most economies subsidize systems: the construction and operations of systems that store, distribute, and clean water to support human activities. This makes the costs of using water much cheaper than it should be and encourages wasteful consumptions and use. The future can never be accurately or completely known because of the multiplicity, the complexity and the interactions of forces that shape it. Consequently, most planners and futurists today reject the idea that planning should be conducted against a single “most likely” image of the future. Rather, sets of scenarios should be used in planning; if the sets encompass a broad span of futures and plans are generated to cope with their eventualities, then the plans will be robust and the future can be met with some degree of confidence. Scenarios are narrative descriptions of the future that focus attention on causal processes and decision points. Accuracy is not the measure of a good scenario; rather, it is: plausibility (a rational route from here to there); internal consistency; description of causal processes; and usefulness in decision making. Benefits of water protection policies: -

Protection and enhancement of health and biodiversity of the aquatic ecosystem, in particular since good ecological status requires good quality of the structure and the functioning of this ecosystem, to be able to provide the ecosystem services needed.

-

Protection of human health through water-related exposure (e.g. through drinking and food production, bathing and consumption of fish).

-

Lower costs for water uses, e.g. water supply or fisheries and more cost effectively achieved improvements by reducing treatment and remediation costs (e.g. drinking water supply, sediment pollution). 49


-

Improvement of efficiency and effectiveness of water policy based on the “polluterpays principle” (in particular by adequate water pricing policies and costeffectiveness assessment of measures, example: reduction of amount of water use per capita).

-

Increased cost-effectiveness of water management, in particular of measures to implement and apply, for example the Nitrates, Urban Wastewater Treatment and IPPC Directives.

-

Integrated river basin management – as introduced by the WFD – should help authorities to maximise the economic and social benefits derived from water resources in an equitable manner instead of repeating the mistaken and fragmented approaches of the past, which dealt with problems in a local, and usually temporary, basis. This should translate, inter alia, in designing more cost-effective measures to meet the environmental objectives of other EU legislation. Especially for new Member States, the cost-saving potential is great if the lessons from the experiences in EU-15 are learnt.

-

Improvement of the quality of life by increasing the value of surface waters (e.g. for visitors, tourists, water-sports users, conservationists) and by increasing its nonuse value and all non-market benefits associated. (CEC – Commission of the European Communities 2005b)

Background: The Water framework directive Managing the water cycle is thus a case study in sustainable use of a key natural resource. The EU Water Framework Directive, WFD (CEC – Commission of the European Communities, 2000), introduces an innovative, integrated and holistic approach to the protection and management of water resources. Since 2000 the water framework directive has been in place as the main European legislation to protect our water resources. With its two main principles focusing on the 'good status' of all water bodies, and assessing them in relation to activities in the river basin, the WFD follows an integrated approach to water resource management. Europe adopted the water framework directive to bring together and integrate work on water resource management. The basis for the directive's work is the river basin. Most water, once it falls to the ground in precipitation, remains within a single river basin, flowing by gravity either to the sea or into groundwater reserves. Human management of the water cycle almost invariably follows this pattern. Water is sometimes moved between river basins, and this may be required more in dry climates in the future. Such bulk transfers usually involve pumping against the forces of gravity and are very expensive — cripplingly so for many uses, including agricultural irrigation. The directive's second principle is to restore every river, lake, groundwater, wetland and other water body across the Community to a 'good status' by 2015. This includes a good ecological and chemical status for surface waters and a good chemical and quantitative status for groundwater. It requires managing the river basin so that the quality and quantity of water does not affect the ecological services of any specific water body. Thus, any abstraction has to maintain ecologically sustainable flows in rivers and preserve groundwater reserves. Discharges and land-based activities have to be restricted 50


FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

to a level of pollution that does not affect the expected biology of the water. In particular, the directive means that new measures will have to be taken to control the agricultural sector so as to manage both its diffuse pollution sources and its abstractions of water for irrigation. The WFD will repeal several older pieces of legislation, such as the surface water directive, the freshwater fish and shellfish directives and the groundwater directive. In future, the objectives of these directives will be covered in a more coherent and integrated way by the WFD and daughter directives. Only four water-related directives will stay in place: the urban waste water treatment directive, the bathing water directive, the nitrates directive and the drinking water directive. Measures and objectives to combat extreme floods and droughts beyond securing a good quantity of groundwater are not covered by the WFD but will be dealt with by an action programme and a directive, which are currently under development. Europe has also recognized that, to achieve the aims of the water framework directive, 'the role of citizens and citizen groups will be crucial'. The implementation of the directive will require careful balancing of the interests of a wide range of stakeholders. The greater the transparency in the establishment of objectives, the higher burden of measures and the reporting of standards, the greater the care Member States will take in implementing the legislation in good faith, and the greater the power of citizens to influence the direction of environmental protection. Caring for Europe's waters requires more involvement of citizens, interested parties and non-governmental organizations, especially at the local and regional levels. Thus the framework directive has established a network for the exchange of information and experience to ensure that implementation will not be left unexamined until it is already behind schedule or out of compliance (CEC – Commission of the European Communities 2000).

4.3.

Water availability and main water use in European countries

Countries where withdrawals are greater than 20% of total available supplies are generally regarded as water stressed. Four countries — Cyprus, Italy, Malta and Spain — already fall in that category (EEA 2006b). Others are likely to join them as climate change is expected to influence both the supply and demand for water (Figure 22). Irrigation, meanwhile, currently accounts for less than 10% of water abstractions in most of the temperate countries of northern Europe, but in southern Europe, in countries such as Cyprus, Greece and Malta and parts of Italy, Portugal, Spain and Turkey, irrigation accounts for more than 60% of water use. In the EU-15, 85% of the irrigated land is in the Mediterranean countries (EEA 2005b; EEA 2006b). Overall in Europe, 80% of the water used in agriculture is either absorbed by crops or evaporates from fields. In manufacturing and households, 80% is returned to the local environment, albeit often polluted and at a different location or catchment. In electricity generation, 95% of the abstracted water is returned, a little warmer than it left but otherwise generally unchanged. Warmer water can, however, negatively impact on local ecosystem structures.

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Figure 22: Annual water availability per capita per country in 2001.

Meanwhile demographic and economic trends are likely to raise water use in other sectors. Domestic use, currently around 25% of the European total, can be expected to rise with wealth and with diminishing household size, a function, among others, of Europe's ageing population. The increase in second homes and mass tourism, including water-intensive activities such as watering golf courses, also raises per capita water use. It is possible, however, that trends to increase domestic water use could be moderated by regulations or economic incentives to encourage people to switch to more water-efficient lavatories and household appliances. Water use in manufacturing is likely to be dependent on the future of the heavy industries that currently use around 80% of the water in this sector (such as iron and steel, chemicals, metals and minerals, paper and pulp, food processing, engineering and textiles). Increases are expected to be greatest among the industrializing candidate EU countries, but use may decline elsewhere as heavy industry declines or adopts more water-efficient industrial technologies.

4.4.

Current threats

Terrestrial ecosystems are water consumptive and linked to green water flow; their key water determinant is soil water and the macro- and micronutrients that they carry to plants. But the terrestrial ecosystems, if altered, will have effects on runoff generation, i.e. blue water flow, and therefore possibilities for the societal use of that water. In other words, the change in land use affects blue water. The aquatic ecosystems dwell in blue water habitats and their key determinants are river flow and seasonality, flood episodes and water quality. Since they tend to accumulate the impacts of all human activities upstream, these ecosystems are particularly vulnerable, e.g. to biodiversity loss.

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Figure 23: Number of flooding events in Europe, 1900-2000 Source: EEA 2005a

Regarding flood risk management, the EEA report “The European Environment – State and Outlook 2005” reconfirms that in general northern Europe is likely to become more flood prone and southern Europe more drought prone as the extra energy in the climate system increases the probability of extremes – including severe storms and floods – such as those witnessed in central Europe in recent years. The report also finds that urban areas continue to grow, with effects like removal of woodland cover that can radically alter rainwater run-off, provoking mudslides and other problems while increasing the areas at risk from flooding. Many remaining wetlands have also been lost to coastal developments, mountain reservoirs and river engineering works. These findings reinforce the importance of improving integrated flood risk management in Europe. Many changes in climate and their impacts on ecosystems and human health are already visible in Europe, particularly in southern Europe where water shortages, fires and droughts are increasingly apparent, along with more unpredictable weather patterns. Meanwhile, the scientific evidence of climate change is getting firmer, with the manifestation of more robust indicators suggesting a much faster rate of change than previously thought (EEA 2005a; Eurostat 2005).

4.5.

Water quality

It is not only the amount of water available that matters. Also the quality of water is of importance. Water quality is usually defined by biological and chemical parameters. For instance, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) is an index widely used to assess the amount of organic oxygen-consuming pollution in a river. Water quality is also influenced by the physical management of rivers and the wider hydrological environment of a river basin. Canalisation, dam building, river bank management and other changes to the hydrological flow can disrupt natural habitats, and change the seasonal patterns. Groundwaters, too, suffer from the consequences of intensive agriculture and the use of nitrogen fertilisers and pesticides. Nitrates contamination is widespread across 53


Europe, where the EU drinking standard for nitrate is exceeded in many of the groundwater bodies (EEA 2005b). Point sources of pollution are largely under control, while tackling the diffuse sources of pollution is more difficult. The main source of diffuse pollution to water is from the largest land use across most of Europe — agriculture. A particular focus of concern is nutrients, primarily nitrates and phosphates. Nitrates are generally the greatest problem. More than half of the nutrient discharges in Europe now come from diffuse sources. Agricultural emissions are now the dominant source of pollution in many river basins. In 1991, the EU introduced a nitrates directive, aimed at stemming the flow of nitrates into the natural environment and drinking water. However, the implementation of the nitrate directive has been rather poor. The patchy implementation of the nitrates directive has been reflected in a patchy pattern of trends in nitrate pollution across Europe. Discharges of both nitrogen and phosphorus from point sources have decreased significantly during the past 30 years, whereas the loss from diffuse sources has generally remained at a constant level. These changes have been largest for phosphorus, where it has also resulted in the largest reduction in the total load due to the previously very high share of point source discharges. The loss from diffuse sources has become relatively more significant as a consequence of the reduced point source discharges.

Figure 24: Annual nitrogen load in selected regions and catchment Source: EEA 2005a

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The changes are mainly due to improved purification of urban wastewater. In the Nordic and western European countries, purification is now very effective and eastern European countries are now following a similar development. Measures to reduce the nitrogen surplus on agricultural land are now beginning to show results in terms of a reduction in diffuse losses of nitrogen, but there is still a long way to go, see Figure 24 above (EEA 2005b). In most of Europe, agriculture is a dominating anthropogenic source of pollution with nitrogen and phosphorus. Its current relative significance is partly a result of the great efforts to reduce point source pollution during the past decades. The estimates of agricultural diffuse loss range from about 0 to 30 kg/ha for nitrogen and about 0 to 1 kg/ha for phosphorus. The highest loss is found in agriculturally intensive regions in the north-western part of Europe, where the average (mineral) fertiliser consumption per country is commonly about 40–70 kg/ha of nitrogen and 8–13 kg/ha of phosphorus (FAO, Eurostat). At large scale, agriculture is the single dominating source of nitrogen pollution, typically contributing 50–80% of the total load. The situation may be different in smaller catchments with high population densities (e.g. large cities), very poor wastewater treatment, or many industrial facilities discharging poorly treated wastewater. Moreover, due to a combination of processes affecting the nitrogen cycle in soil and water, the reduction in diffuse loading of the aquatic environment can be delayed by many years after measures have been implemented on land (EEA 2005a).

4.6.

Climate change and water stress

Substantial changes in precipitation patterns, possibly linked to climate change, are already apparent in Europe. In some northern countries there has been a marked increase in precipitation in recent decades, particularly in winter, while declining rainfall is a recent feature of southern and central Europe, especially in summer. These trends are expected to continue, causing serious water stress in parts of southern Europe in particular. In parts of northern Europe, additional rainfall will increase river flow. Water availability may increase by 10% or more in much of Scandinavia and parts of the United Kingdom by 2030. In southern Europe a combination of reduced rainfall and increased evaporation will cause a reduction of 10% or more in the run-off in many river basins in Greece, southern Italy and Spain, and parts of Turkey. In southern Europe, this reduced supply will be made worse by sharply rising demand, particularly from farmers needing more water to irrigate their crops. In general, northern Europe is likely to become more flood prone and southern Europe more drought prone as the extra energy in the climate system increases the probability of extremes (EEA 2005b). Higher temperatures are likely to have an even larger impact on water demand in southern Europe, where the need for irrigation of crops will undoubtedly increase. Baseline assumptions foresee a 20% increase in the area of southern Europe under irrigation by 2030. In many places, there is simply not the water to meet this demand, so there will be strong pressure for significant improvements in the efficiency of irrigation systems.

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Even allowing for such improvements, current projections see a rise of 11% in water demand for agriculture. The question remains whether this water will be available in practice, and how countries will meet the competing needs of agriculture and the ecological protection of aquatic ecosystems. This will raise further questions about the sustainability of certain patterns of agriculture, particularly in southern Europe, in the light of projected changes in climate in already water-short areas, see Figure 25.

Figure 25: Current water availability in Europe, and under the LREM-E climate change scenario Source: EEA 2005b

Not all these expected increases need to occur. The potential for greater efficiency in water use may be much greater than currently anticipated. Such improvements may be unlocked by more realistic water pricing, which would make investment in efficiency more attractive, especially in agriculture (Roth 2001). It requires Member States to ensure that water pricing policies provide adequate incentives for users to use water more efficiently and it requires that the environmental objectives of the Water Framework Directive are supported. Domestic water use could be cut through tougher water efficiency standards for household appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and lavatories. Perhaps the greatest potential for water saving lies in reducing leakage rates in water distribution systems, particularly for domestic use. In some older cities in Europe, losses exceed a third. Average leakage rates for Public Water Supply (PWS) range from 10% in Austria and Denmark to 33% in the Czech Republic (OECD 1999). Incentives for more efficient urban water use and supply are therefore urgently needed. In some places this leakage is not strictly 'lost', since it recharges groundwater, from where it can be pumped to the surface again. However, in many places this is impossible because the groundwater beneath cities is too contaminated to be used (EEA 2005a).

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5. Topic: Landscape, Biodiversity and Soils 5.1.

Introduction

The thematic topics of landscape, biodiversity and soils have been considered together in this review, because the environmental and social factors that impact upon them are often highly interconnected. While each topic area is important in its own right, their individual fates are often highly correlated because their state or condition is usually shaped by the way land is managed, and the way natural processes can modify the elements of land cover and their associated properties. An understanding of the direct and indirect drivers of land cover change is therefore taken as the starting point of this review. We now turn to the analysis of the three themes of landscape, biodiversity and soils in more detail, to explore the nature of the forces that are currently impacting upon them (Sections 6.2, 6.3 and 6.4). In the account that follows we make the distinction (see Section 3.2) between the ‘direct’ and ‘indirect’ drivers of change, where the more immediate or proximal pressures are those arising from the various activities associated with internal or endogenous processes generated by the metabolism of the socioindustrial system, and the external or exogenous forces that may influence the system through their influence on quality and quantity of activities that affect economic performance.

5.2.

Landscape

5.2.1. Main policy goals and targets Landscape is a particularly interesting topic area to consider, because while it is not one to which a major raft of EU policy has been directed, a landscape focus provides a way in which a number of cross-cutting environmental issues can be explored. The importance of landscape in the policy arena has been emphasised by the European Landscape Convention6, which defines landscape as ‘a distinctive and recognisable area, an area, as perceived by people, whose character is the result of the action and interaction of natural and/or human factors’. The Convention argues that consideration of landscape issues is important both because it can provide a way of developing an integrated understanding of the interaction of people with their environment, and because it is an important element in its own right, in terms of the role it lays in maintaining the quality of people’s lives. The aims of the Landscape Convention are to promote European landscape protection, management and planning, and to organise European co-operation on landscape issues. For those who deal with landscape mainly in terms of its structure, landscape is seen in terms of the physical arrangements of various types of feature. Thus in the landscape ecological literature ‘landscape’ is often defined in terms of the structure and pattern of

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a land cover or land use mosaic, and its relationships with physical and biotic elements such as terrain, geology, soils and vegetation, and cultural factors associated with people’s use and management of the land over time. Landscapes are represented as a heterogeneous area over which the patterns of association of the various elements exhibit a repeated and consistent pattern. It is widely acknowledged that the landscapes of Europe are extremely diverse because of the many combinations of geology, soils, relief, land cover, and historical and cultural patterns that we can find across the member states. However, it is also acknowledged that the landscapes of Europe are changing. Although natural factors shape our landscapes, their character also results from the impact of cultural influences from the past and current land management practices. Thus, as a result of contemporary pressures such as urbanisation, agricultural intensification or the development of new recreational patterns, many landscapes have been or are being transformed. Thus, while landscape per se is not an explicit focus of EU policy, issues of land cover and land use change certainly are. It is argued here that consideration of them in a wider landscape context allows them to be more easily considered in an integrated way, so that cross-cutting issues can be more easily identified and managed. The ‘integrative’ that consideration of landscape can bring to debates is best illustrated by reference to the general problem of ‘multi-functionality’. The term ‘multi-functionality’ is used to describe situations where people achieve or attempt to achieve multiple goals in their use of a parcel of land or the wider landscape. In the rural areas of Europe and many other parts of the world, multi-functionality is the norm since rarely do individual land parcels have only one purpose or use. The problem of multi-functionality has become the focus of discussion in much of the recent research literature (see for example, Brandt and Vejre 2004; Helming and Wiggering 2003) because people and communities increasingly need to find ways of sustaining the range of benefits or outputs they have traditionally enjoyed from a given area and at the same time adapt management approaches so that new opportunities and needs can be accommodated. Problems occur because, in a mixed land cover mosaic, use conflicts may arise. The need to find ways of dealing with the use conflicts that arise in multi-functional land use systems (i.e. whole landscapes) has become a central concern of recent EU policy. Although there are no specific policies dealing with multi-functionality the problem of resolving conflicts between alternative land uses or activities related to land management are often central to much recent thinking. Thus, the European Water Framework Directive (CEC – Commission of the European Communities 2000) will profoundly change the way in which land and associated water resources are managed, by promoting and requiring a more integrated approach to land and water management than has occurred in the past. The key objectives of the WFD, for example, are to:

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Enhance the status and prevent further deterioration of aquatic ecosystems and associated wetlands. There is a requirement for nearly all inland and coastal waters to achieve ‘good status’ by 2015;

Promote the sustainable use of water;


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Reduce pollution of water, especially by ‘priority’ and ‘priority hazardous’ substances;

Lessen the effects of floods and droughts; and,

Rationalise and update existing water legislation and introduce a co-ordinated approach to water management based on the concept of river basin planning.

The integrated approaches to river basin management required by the WFD will therefore involve a more holistic consideration of the spatial patterns of land use elements within a catchment and the land management practices associated with them. As a result, it will serve to expand the range of criteria that will have to be included in future land use planning decisions. A second important area that has implications for the way whole landscapes are likely to be managed in the future is the EU Habitats Directive (CEC – Commission of the European Communities 1992), which explicitly recognises that the integrity of many of our most important nature conservation sites is undermined both by the effects of surrounding land management practices, and the consequences of habitat fragmentation and isolation. As a result, many regional and local land use planning policies are currently seeking to strengthen the ‘green infrastructure’ by creating buffer zones around important sites, or designing green corridors or networks to connect up remnant patches. A final example, of how consideration of issues at the landscape scale have been thrown into sharper focus by current EU Policy initiatives is the development of agroenvironmental measures following the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)7, which has increasingly aimed at heading off the risks of environmental degradation, while encouraging farmers to continue to play a positive role in the maintenance of the countryside and the environment by targeted rural development measures and by contributing to securing farming profitability in the different EU regions. The agro-environmental strategy of the CAP is largely aimed at enhancing the sustainability of agro-ecosystems, with measures to address the integration of environmental concerns by promoting minimum standards of farm practise through cross-compliance, as well as targeted environmental measures that form part of the Rural Development Programmes (e.g. agro-environment schemes). Under agro-environmental schemes, farmers commit themselves for a five-year minimum period to adopt environmentallyfriendly farming techniques that go beyond usual good farming practice. In return they receive payments that compensate for additional costs and loss of income that arise as a result of their altered farming practices. Examples of commitments covered by national/regional agro-environmental schemes are:

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environmentally favourable extensification of farming;

management of low-intensity pasture systems;

integrated farm management and organic agriculture;

preservation of landscape and historical features such as hedgerows, ditches and woods; and,

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conservation of high-value habitats and their associated biodiversity.

The Water Framework and Habitats directives and the development of agroenvironmental measures are particular examples of policy areas that involve a consideration of landscape scale issues in order to develop appropriate spatial planning strategies. In fact, such moves are just part of a much broader attempt in Europe to develop a stronger and more balanced spatial approach to policy making. The current impetus for improved approaches to spatial planning was stimulated by the Member States and the European Commission through the publication of the 1999 European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP). The ESDP recognised that present patterns of development across Europe are highly concentrated and that marked variations of economic wealth and prosperity exist. For the future it was argued that there should be many geographically well-spread prosperous regions across Europe, and that stronger ‘territorial cohesion’ could be achieved by ‘polycentric’ spatial development. More specifically the ESDP aims to put in place mechanisms to: •

strengthen the partnership between urban and rural areas, so as to create new urban-rural relationships, to address issues related to household growth and urban sprawl, and the need to promote new economic opportunities through such concepts as “gateway” cities;

promote integrated transport and communication initiatives, which support the polycentric development of the EU territory, so that there is gradual progress towards parity of access to infrastructure and knowledge, thereby helping to address issues arising from patterns of migration, unemployment and significant variations in GDP per capita across the EU; and,

ensure the wise management of the natural and cultural heritage, which will help conserve regional identities and cultural diversity in the face of globalisation and climate change.

Although the Lisbon Strategy that was launched in 2000 did not have a strong territorial dimension, one of its key priorities was the need to make Europe an attractive area in which people would like to live and work. This priority related not only to access to markets and the provision of services, but also to the creation of a healthy environment. As our initial reference to the European Landscape Convention emphasised, an ingredient of future success will be the extent to which regional and local identities can be preserved and the distinctive aspects and character of different landscapes preserved. With increasing pressures of globalization on economies, landscape can be seen as an important resource that can contribute directly to people’s well-being by helping, for example, to ‘market’ different localities and their associated products in the context of tourism or the local and regional labelling of food and other goods. 5.2.2. Overview of the environmental, economic and social problems related to landscape An overview of the environmental, economic and social problems that are associated with landscape can best be gained by considering some of the major processes of landscape change that can be identified across Europe. These include problems asso60


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ciated with urban expansion, the intensification of agriculture, the abandonment of land and the fragmentation of habitats. Urban expansion or urban sprawl is widely recognised as an important issue in many European countries. The EEA has shown that between 1990 and 2000, for example, urban areas and associated infrastructure increased by more than 800,000 ha in Europe as a whole (i.e. EU23), or roughly 5.3%. While the actual area of increase is small compared to the total stock of land available, analysis shows that urban growth is highly concentrated, occurring in places where expansion had already occurred in the previous two decades. At present rates of change there would be a doubling of the urban area in Europe in the next century. (EEA 2006a) Although the economic and social consequences of urban expansion are advantageous, rapid development places pressures on the environment through the modifications to patterns of consumption of energy and material resources, the production of waste, and the indirect impacts of the expansion of artificial surfaces wider environmental resources systems (e.g. through increased risks of flooding). Resource and waste issues are covered elsewhere in this document. In terms of impacts on wider resource systems, urbanisation impacts on the ‘water environment’ through increases in surface sealing which alters the rate at which water is discharged from catchments, by increasing pollution loads as a result of expansion of transport infrastructures, changing local microclimates, and by fragmenting semi-natural habitats. Urban sprawl is particularly evident in many of Europe’s coastal areas and has had considerable implications for the Mediterranean, which is one of the world 34 global hotspots for biodiversity. Agricultural intensification, and in particular the conversion of pastures to other types of agricultural land cover, is also a major factor that has to be considered in relation to understand the environmental, economic and social problems associated with landscape. The latter half of the 20th century was characterised by marked changes in rural landscapes, as more intensive forms of agriculture developed in response to the postwar drive for food security. More recently, as a result of the need to develop more liberal, market orientated approaches and concerns for the environmental implications of such intensive agricultures, different trajectories have been set in train. Between 1990 and 2000, analysis of land cover change data by the EEA shows that the main trends have been the overall loss of agricultural land (mainly to urban and forest), and within the farmed landscape the conversion of arable and permanent crops to pasture, setaside and fallow. However, the overall statistics mask quite marked regional and local differences. For example, conversion of new marginal land to agriculture appears to be taking place in Portugal and Spain, SW France and eastern Germany and Hungary. This process is in part due to the limited areas of good agricultural land in some countries and the loss of the best areas through urbanisation. In other places, however, it represents the expansion of more intensive industrialised agricultural practices as a result of the transformation of farming following accession, or the growth of new patterns of demand and supply (e.g. irrigated horticultural crops in the Mediterranean region; conversion from pasture to crops in SE Ireland driven by more intensive livestock farming and the demand for animal feed). 61


The changes seen in Europe’s rural landscapes are particularly interesting because while some are clearly showing the effects of more intensive agriculture management practices, others show the effects of reduced management or even withdrawal. Indeed the economic and social consequences of land abandonment are now important issues in many European countries. Such trends can be observed in many of the mountain regions of Europe, in some parts of Germany, Hungary and Slovakia, where arable land has been transformed to forest through the process of natural regeneration. In part the process has been triggered by the uneconomic nature of farming in more marginal areas. In Slovakia, however, it was also triggered partly by the fact that land was returned to its former owners who did not necessarily have an interest in farming. The consequences of abandonment are varied. Clearly if it is associated with rural depopulation then the viability of rural communities and their associated services may be put in jeopardy. In terms of biodiversity, the richness of species associated with the farmed landscapes in many marginal areas is dependent on traditional land management practice, and so may also be transformed as management is withdrawn. Throughout Europe, a consequence of land cover changes is the increasing fragmentation of habitats and the increasing vulnerability of the remaining patches as a consequence of the pressures of surrounding land uses. Landscape ecologists often think of landscapes as a mosaic, and describe its structure in terms of the arrangement of different land cover types. They use the terms ‘patches’, ‘corridors’ and ‘matrix’ to describe these different elements, and go on to devise various measures of pattern to describe the degree of fragmentation or connectedness that exists, and in particular, to trace its implications for biodiversity. We can see many examples of national and international initiatives that have sought indicators to monitor the process and the effectiveness of policies aimed to mitigate the problem. Thus Norwegian 3Q Programme (Puschmann et al. 2004), which has been set up to monitor change in agricultural landscapes with the aim to establish whether agroenvironmental policies are having the desired effects, has a whole range of structural indicators such as landscape diversity (number of land cover types), edge density (length of boundaries per unit area) and fragmentation (average patch size). At the European scale the EnRisk/IRENA Project (Delbeare 2003) has proposed a range of structural indicators describing openness, coherence and diversity of landscapes that can be calculated using pan-European land cover data such available from CORINE.

5.3.

Biodiversity

5.3.1. Main policy goals and targets In contrast to landscape, which is not an explicit target of EU policy, biodiversity in its broadest sense, has been the focus in a number of specific policy directives and measures. Although many initiatives now reflect and reinforce Europe’s commitment to various international agreements, such as the 1992 Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD), in fact policies for different aspects of biodiversity have been developed over a long period, and have been shaped by Europe’s commitments under many earlier agreements, such as the 1971, Ramsar Convention, which concerns the conservation and protection of wetlands, and the 1979 Bern Convention, which aimed to ensure 62


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conservation and protection of all wild plant and animal species and their natural habitats, and the 1979 Bonn Convention, which focused on migratory species. To implement the Bern Convention in Europe, the European Community adopted Council Directive 79/409/EEC on the Conservation of Wild Birds (CEC – Commission of the European Communities 1979) in 1979, and Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the Conservation of Natural Habitats and of Wild Fauna and Flora (CEC – Commission of the European Communities 1992) in 1992. Among other things the Directives provide for the establishment of a European network of protected areas (known as Natura2000 sites), to tackle the continuing losses of European biodiversity on land, at the coast and in the sea, all of which largely result from the impact of human activities on species and the wider environment. Such initiatives have been reinforced by Europe’s subsequent commitments under the CBD, which resulted in the publication of the Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy in 1994. The Strategy sought to introduce a coordinating and unifying framework for strengthening and building on existing initiatives, which support the implementation of the CBD. In 1998 the European Community Biodiversity Strategy was adopted, defining a framework for action, by setting out four major themes and specifying sectoral and horizontal objectives to be achieved. This was followed in 2001 by the production of Biodiversity Action Plans for fisheries, agriculture, economic cooperation and development, and conservation of natural resources. These sectoral Plans define concrete actions and measures to meet the objectives defined in the strategy, and specify measurable targets, and have stimulated more specific biodiversity action plans at national and local levels. A key requirement of Europe’s commitment made under the CBD, was to halt biodiversity loss by 2010. In 2006, the EU reviewed this goal (CEC – Commission of the European Communities 2006a) and the extent to which it might be achieved given current progress, and emphasised that while success was still possible, further effort was needed. The Commission identified four key policy areas for action and, related to these, ten priority objectives (Table 1).

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Table 1: The key policy areas and objectives identified by the Commission for halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010

POLICY AREA 1: Biodiversity in the EU ! Objective 1: To safeguard the EU's most important habitats and species. ! Objective 2: To conserve and restore biodiversity and ecosystem services in the wider EU countryside. ! Objective 3: To conserve and restore biodiversity and ecosystem services in the wider EU marine environment. ! Objective 4: To reinforce compatibility of regional and territorial development with biodiversity in the EU. ! Objective 5: To substantially reduce the impact on EU biodiversity of invasive alien species and alien genotypes.

POLICY AREA 2: The EU and global biodiversity ! Objective 6: To substantially strengthen effectiveness of international governance for biodiversity and ecosystem services. ! Objective 7: To substantially strengthen support for biodiversity and ecosystem services in EU external assistance. ! Objective 8: To substantially reduce the impact of international trade on global biodiversity and ecosystem services.

POLICY AREA 3: Biodiversity and climate change ! To support biodiversity adaptation to climate change.

POLICY AREA 4: The knowledge base ! To substantially strengthen the knowledge base for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, in the EU and globally.

The close integration of the various Directives concerned with biodiversity and other policies and measures promoted by the EU can be seen in relation to:

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The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive (CEC - Commission of the European Communities 2003a), which requires consideration of potential environmental impacts of specified types of regional and territorial developments, and specifically the evaluation of alternative designs and measures to prevent and reduce negative impacts on biodiversity; and,

The recent introduction of Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA) (CEC – Commission of the European Communities 2001), which apply to certain plans and programmes, and which is intended to better reconcile conservation and development needs by ensuring consideration of impacts at an early stage in the planning process.

The Water Framework Directive (WFD) which aims, amongst other things, to enhance the status and prevent further deterioration of aquatic ecosystems and associated wetlands, and to ensure all inland and coastal waters to achieve ‘good status’ by 2015. All conservation sites designated under the Habitats Directive will become ‘protected areas’ under the WFD, and water quality objectives developed through the WFD will be shaped by the conservation objectives and ecological quality criteria developed under the Habitats Directive.


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The EU’s Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection (TSSP), which aims to promote the sustainable management and use of soil, both as a natural resource in its own right, and as an ecosystem which supports a significant component of our terrestrial biodiversity (see below, Section 6.4). The TSSP notes that not only are soil ecosystems often amongst the richest in terms of the biodiversity that they support, but that reductions in soil biodiversity make soils more vulnerable to other degradation processes such as erosion by wind and water. The conservation of soil biodiversity is therefore seen as an essential part of the sustainable management of this important natural resource.

5.3.2. Overview of the environmental, economic and social problems related to biodiversity An overview of the environmental, economic and social problems that arise in relation to biodiversity loss can best be given by reference to the recently published ‘Millennium Ecosystem Assessment’ (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005). This international initiative, which has been based on contributions of over 1300 researchers over a five year period, has become central to current debates about nature-society relations, and in particular the way the environment, and in particular biodiversity, is valued. The MA Board provides a conceptual map of the relationships between ecosystem functions and the benefits people and societies derive (Figure 26). It suggests that in general terms four major categories of benefit are identified, namely: a. Supporting functions, such as nutrient cycling, soil formation and primary production; b. Provisioning functions, such as the production of food and fibre; c. Regulation functions, covering the role that ecosystems have in controlling climate, disease, flooding and water supply; and, d. Cultural functions, which include spiritual, aesthetic, educational and scientific roles that ecosystems can fulfil.

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Figure 26: Linkage between Ecosystem Services and Human Well-being Source: after Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005

Using this classification, the MA provides a global analysis of the current status of ecosystem functions (Figure 27), and highlights those which are currently being degraded largely as a result of the human pressures on the service exceeding its limits. The assessment has shown that at global scales, about 60% of the services identified have been and continue to be undermined by human impact. In the context of the EU, the MA suggested that only 1–3% of Western Europe’s forests can be classed as ‘undisturbed by humans’ and that since the 1950s, Europe has lost more than half of its wetlands and most high–nature–value farmland. Many of the EU’s marine ecosystems are also highly degraded. At the species level, 42% of Europe’s native mammals, 43% of birds, 45% of butterflies, 30% of amphibians, 45% of reptiles and 52% of freshwater fish are threatened with extinction; most major marine fish stocks are below safe biological limits; some 800 plant species in Europe are at risk of global extinction; and there are unknown but potentially significant changes in lower life forms including invertebrate and microbial diversity. Moreover, many once common species show population declines. This loss of species and decline in species’ abundance is accompanied by significant loss of genetic diversity. Although the value of biodiversity is difficult to quantify precisely, an insight into the nature of the economic, social and environmental problems that arise in relation to loss of biodiversity and habitat function are summarized in Figure 26 and Figure 27. Many species have, for example, direct economic value in that they provide food and fibre (i.e. serve a provisioning function). Overexploitation of populations, such as those associated with marine ecosystems, has lead to significant declines in yields with wider 66


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consequences both for other species that depend on them and the people that derived a living from the industries that have been built around them. Beyond such obvious direct economic consequences, loss of ecological function resulting from human impacts on biodiversity and habitat structure include the consequences for a range of regulation functions, such as the protection of soils, the maintenance of water quality and quantity, disease and pest regulation and food security, pollination, and protection against natural hazards such as flooding or landslides.

Figure 27: Global status of ecosystem services Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005

Although the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment has stimulated much discussion, there is as yet little systematic information on the state of ecosystem goods and services at the European scale. It is likely, however, that in the near future several national assessments may be undertaken, and that organizations such as the EEA may coordinate work at the Community level.

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5.4.

Soils

5.4.1. Main policy goals and targets Soil is both an important ecosystem in its own right, and a fundamental part of other ecosystems. Thus many of the concerns that affect the output of ecosystem goods and services through land cover change and impact on biodiversity, do so through the soil system. The problem of eutrophication, resulting from diffuse air pollution illustrates the complex nature of the interactions involved. Nevertheless, because of the importance that soils have for economic prosperity and well-being, it is useful to focus on them separately to ensure that their role is fully explored. The 6th Community Action Programme of the EU required the development of a Thematic Strategy for soil protection that involved addressing the main factors impacting on their integrity (CEC – Commission of the European Communities 2002). These drivers included pollution, erosion, desertification, and land degradation and hydrological risks. Since then, work has taken forward the development of a soils strategy, and these efforts have most recently resulted in the publication of an assessment that such a strategy would have in the context of promoting soil protection at European Scales (CEC – Commission of the European Communities 2006b). The impact assessment is particularly interesting in the present context since it attempts to cost the benefits of adopting policies for improved soil protection. It is estimated that full implementation of a Directive on soils would result in a benefit of around !38M annually. It is noted that it is difficult to compare this estimate with the costs of soil degradation, however, or the mitigation measures needed to ameliorate the worst impacts of current activities, because they are difficult to calculate. In its response to the results of the impact assessment the Commission accepts that the best option for achieving improved soil protection is a specific Soils Directive. Such a measure will therefore be a key future policy driver, that is likely to require Member States to identify areas at risk for erosion, organic matter decline, compaction, salanisation and landslide, and to adopt risk reduction targets and measures to alleviate these problems. Given the importance that soil integrity has for achieving the goals of other Directive, such as those for water and biodiversity, it is also likely that these other policy initiatives will also shape future management strategies. 5.4.2. Overview of the environmental, economic and social problems related to soils A number of studies have sought to identify the key drivers impacting on soil integrity at European scales. A recent study published by the EEA (2006c) looked specifically at the drivers and trends related to agriculture. They suggested that pressures on the soil resource that arise from agriculture may result from changes in cropping and livestock patterns, farm management regimes, in particular tillage practices and the management of soil cover, and intensification/extensification processes. A range of indicators, identified by IRENA, Nos. 13, 14 and 15, respectively, have been proposed to monitor these processes.

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Figure 28: Areas at risk from soil erosion in Europe

It is interesting to note that land cover change was also identified as a key issue, and it was proposed that the indicator IRENA No. 24, which focuses on the land cover flows between agriculture, forest and semi-natural areas, should be used to capture these trends. The state of soils is also shown by the indicators on erosion (IRENA No. 23, see Figure 28) and soil quality (IRENA No. 29). At present, at the European level, few policies address problems of soil erosion either directly or indirectly, although issues related to the problem are included in the Sewage Sludge Directive. This instrument aims to protect and improve the quality of soils that might contribute to a reduction of soil erosion, especially in the southern regions of Europe. Within the Water Framework Directive, soil erosion issues are addressed through the aim to establish a “good status of all waters” by 2015; in the context of soil this will be achieved mainly by the management of sediment and chemical run-off. To reach this aim, Member States are required to develop Programmes of Measures for river basin districts by 2008. In the context of the Common Agricultural Policies, the most important measures are provided through the cross-compliance scheme and the rural development programmes. Member States are required to include soil erosion measures within the minimum requirements to keep all agricultural land in good agricultural and environmental conditions (cross-compliance), which has been conditional from 2005 onwards. 69


Moreover, measures to reduce soil erosion can be included within afforestation schemes and agro-environmental programmes. Soil organic carbon content in topsoil has been adopted as a proxy indicator for soil quality for agro-environmental purposes, because it covers both strictly agricultural criteria and wider environmental and societal concerns. Practices that give rise to low carbon content increase the risk of erosion by wind and water. By contrast, maintenance of high carbon content ensures both the integrity of soil for agricultural production and the sequestration of carbon in relation to issues of climate change. Areas of very low organic carbon content (between 0 and 1%) appear mostly in southern Europe and correspond with areas with high soil erosion rates and warmer climates. In northern Europe, highly organic soils (peat) are clearly distinguished. In the absence of an overarching Soils Directive, from the perspective of existing European policies three initiatives specifically address the issue of soil organic matter, namely those relating to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), Climate Change and Waste. CAP is probably the most important in that it has set in place a number of measures supporting the build-up of soil organic matter. Agro-environmental schemes, for example, aim to mitigate the negative pressures of farming on the environment, and thus offer a significant opportunity to promote the build up of soil organic matter, by encouraging such activities as organic farming. The requirement for cross-compliance also sets in place mechanisms to ensure that all agricultural land receiving payments is kept in good agricultural and environmental conditions. Thus Member States have to define at national or regional level minimum requirements for what constitutes good agricultural and environmental conditions that take into consideration the specific characteristics of the area concerned. Cross-compliance measures are also particularly important in the context of attempts to reduce the negative effects of soil compaction, that may lead both to erosion of topsoil and flooding. Under the requirements for cross-compliance, Member States are required to implement measures for maintaining the soil structure, through, for example the appropriate use of machinery use or the maintenance of lower livestock densities. Beyond the direct impacts of agricultural practices on soil, there is also some concern about the consequences of loss of soils through ‘surface sealing’, that is the loss and transformation of soils through development processes. At present there appears to be no legally binding instruments at the European level to address soil sealing, other than measures promoted by the Directives for Environmental Impact Assessment and the Strategic Environmental Assessment. The impact regulations require that the analysis should include attention to the need for soil protection issues. However, the effects of irreplaceable soil losses are often not sufficiently taken into account, mainly due to a lack of available data and methods for evaluation (Kraemer et al. 2004). At present the main indicator of such transformations is loss of agricultural and other open areas through land cover change to urban.

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6. Derivation of Cross-cutting drivers 6.1.

Methodology

Integration of different issues has often been lacking in scenario development (Raskin et al. 2004). Against the background of the DPSIR-concept, it is the goal of the FORESCENE project to analyze environmental problems with regard to their interrelations and search for underlying common drivers. For instance, the use of resources in the production and consumption system is associated with the extraction and harvest of resources that impact soil (e.g. for building infrastructures), biodiversity (e.g. by mining/quarrying) and water (e.g. by agriculture). One may expect that important driving forces, which – in a cross-cutting manner – relate to various environmental topics, are linked to the material flows of the physical economy. These flows are determined by economic characteristics of intermediate and final demand; they are influenced by technological and institutional changes, and are associated with social and cultural implications. Thus one can expect that the development of integrated scenarios will be critically depending on the determination and assessment of the cross-thematic and cross-sectoral drivers of resource use. These parameters determine the volume and structure of the societal or industrial metabolism, and thus the interaction with the environment through resource extraction, final waste disposal and physical expansion of the technosphere (infrastructures, buildings).

In order to derive and delineate cross-cutting drivers for the three problem fields resource use and waste, water, and landscape, biodiversity and soils a unified matrix was developed. As explained in section 2.1.1 the DPSIR framework was used as a reference framework, with the distinction that it was decided in the FORESCENE project to further differentiate drivers into direct drivers (=activities) and indirect drivers (=underlying factors). The distinction between direct drivers (= activities) and indirect drivers (= underlying factors or driving forces) is not clear-cut in terms of the addressed topic areas, as there are both quantitative as well as qualitative aspects of pressures on natural resources. The environmental impact of driving forces will probably not be grasped by looking at singular causal chains but rather by understanding the effect on activities. The matrix serves as basis for delineating activities, driving forces and the three problem areas in order to identify the cross-cutting drivers. This actually would lead to a three dimensional matrix, but for clarity reasons the following matrix was developed (see Fehler! Verweisquelle konnte nicht gefunden werden.). In the top part the activities (direct drivers) are assigned in the columns. These activities, which are specified according to the headline classes of the NACE-code, are presumably of relevance for the three topic fields. The first rows contain the three problem fields, which have been assessed in the different sections above. The top part of the matrix serves to indicate and weight (at first in relative terms) the relevance of the activities by sector for the different problem fields. 71


Figure 29: Matrix of activities

The systematic search for underlying factors likely to drive environmental pressures with potential cross-cutting effects in the EU is symbolized by the “mind map” or, simply, the “tree” presented in Figure 30, which is based on the results of a mind mapping session organized at the 1st integration workshop of the FORESCENE project in Brussels (6 September 2006).

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FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

Figure 30: Tree of underlying factors

73


Starting from the “trunk� (underlying factors), three levels of aggregation are investigated to list and organize the underlying factors. The third level (L3) consists of indicators corresponding to numerical, empirical data. The relevance of the listed underlying factors needs to be assessed with regard to the environmental issues at stake. For this purpose, a three-dimensional matrix is used (see Table 2). The relevance of level 2 (L2) underlying factors is scrutinized for the three environmental problem fields in the context of eleven production activities or product groups. Assessing the relevance of the L2 underlying factors actually consists in assessing the plausibility of a causal effect between these L2 factors and the environmental problems within given production activities. The trends and absolute levels observed for the L3 indicators (representing the L2 underlying factors) constitute the basis of the plausibility-relevance reasoning. The experts’ views, data, literature or any other material used to scrutinize the behaviour of L3 indicators in relation to the environmental fields should, whenever possible, encompass certain time and geographical scopes. When looking at the trends of some indicators, time-series covering the last ten years should be favoured. The relevance assessment should apply to the EU-25 as a whole. If a problem field needs to be considered at a smaller geographical scope (e.g. regional scope for water issues), the final results of the relevance assessment should, however, refer to the whole EU-25 (e.g. through extrapolation). In order to classify a L2 underlying factor in terms of relevance, a number of criteria were developed. The L2 factor is classed as very relevant if there is a direct link between underlying factor, activity and resulting impact bundle, or a strong indirect link with impacts occurring inside the EU. It is classed as relevant if an indirect link (via the process-chain) with impacts occurring either within or outside EU can be established. The (plausible) relevance of the underlying factors, with regard to the three environmental topics in the context of the eleven activities, is then documented in the matrix, according to a simple three degree rating scale: O (not regarded as relevant) X (relevant, indirect link with impacts) XX (very relevant, direct link with impacts) ? (plausibility could not be assessed) This was done for each problem area separately (sections 6.2, 6.3 and 6.4), before combining the results in the overall unified matrix (section 6.5).

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FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers Table 2: Matrix of underlying factors

6.2.

Delineation of driving forces in the topic field of resource use and waste

Based on the methodological framework described in the previous section, a plausibility check is conducted on the underlying factors listed in Table 2. The following points provide qualitative and quantitative explanations on which the relevance assessment of the underlying factors with their differing influence on the eleven activity sectors are 75


based for the problem area of resource use and waste generation. Table 20 (at the end of this section) presents the results of the analysis in a unified matrix. Level 1 – Economic development Level 2 – Economic growth Growth Domestic Product (GDP) is the usual headline indicator for economic growth. Times series for GDP and GDP per capita, as well as for their respective growth rates, are available from Eurostat. The growth rate of the GDP per capita in the EU-25 was lower than 2% in the years 2001-2005, in contrast to the five years before that period, where the growth rate has been higher. There are large discrepancies among the EU25 member states with regard to the growth rates of GDP and the levels of GDP per capita. In general, the direct material input (DMI) and the total material requirement (TMR) grow with GDP (Bringezu et al. 2004, p.111). There is a trend towards relative decoupling between these two parameters and GDP. Absolute decoupling between TMR per capita and GDP could only be observed in particular cases, under extraordinary political and economic changes. The future development of TMR and its structure depend on the initial level of income. Higher coupling generally occurs for lower income countries, where construction materials account for a large share of the TMR. The flows for those materials usually slightly decrease in the course of economic growth, while metals and industrial minerals show an increasing trend. We assume after Bringezu et al.’s (2004) findings that the growth of GDP and its level per capita are very relevant for the production activities ‘basic metals’, ‘chemicals and chemical products’ and ‘construction’, and to a lesser extent for the sector ‘machinery equipment’. Even though the correlation between the activities ‘motor vehicle’ and ‘transport’, and GDP was not considered as very high by Bringezu et al. (2004), it is assumed here that economic growth is very relevant for the development of transport and, hence, for the development of resource use in the motor vehicle industry. The share of biomass in TMR, and notably the erosion associated with its production, does not show any significant relation to GDP (Bringezu et al. 2004, p.116). The performance of the energy supply with regard to TMR varies considerably from country to country and does not correlate with GDP (Bringezu et al. 2004, p.117).

76

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 3: Relevance assessment of ‘economic growth’

O

O

XX

XX

?

X

XX

O

O

XX

XX


FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

Level 2 – Investment patterns Two types of investment can be considered for the Level 3 indicators: investment in fixed or human capital. Time-series for investments described as gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) are available from Eurostat. Gross fixed capital formation consists of resident producers' acquisitions, less disposals of fixed tangible or intangible assets (including buildings, infrastructures, machinery and equipment, mineral exploration, computer software, literary or artistic originals) plus certain additions to the value of non-produced (usually natural) assets realised by productive activity (e.g. major improvement to land, such as the clearance of forests or the draining of marshes). The total GFCF increased in absolute terms in EU-25 for the period 1995-2005. Its share of the GDP, however, remained stable between 19.5% and 20.5%. The variations, as well as the level, of the GFCF differ when considering the individual investment products separately (see Figure 31). Apart from the ‘products of agriculture’, all the product groups showed an increasing trend in 2005. The highest level of investment is associated with construction work, followed by metal products and machinery, transport equipment and products of agriculture, respectively. The investment in human capital can be represented by three indicators: •

expenditure on education

the percentage of all enterprises providing CVT (Continuing Vocational Training) courses

the percentage of people benefiting from lifelong learning

These data are available from Eurostat. The total public expenditure on education increased by about 18% over the period 1995-2002 in EU-25. There is no time series available for the share of enterprises providing CVT. In 2005 in EU-25, 3% more people benefited from lifelong learning than in 2000.

Figure 31: Gross fixed capital formation in EU-25, broken down per investment product Source: Eurostat

77


Given the very nature of GFCF (purchase of buildings, infrastructure, durable equipment such as machinery etc), these investments are expected to cause the increase of the construction mineral and metal flows. The GFCF indicator is therefore considered relevant for the production activities ‘basic metals’, ‘construction’, ‘machinery equipment’, ‘energy’, ‘water’, ‘chemicals’, ‘transport’ and ‘motor vehicles’. However, certain investments, e.g. fostered by a “national efficiency plan” and aiming at reducing energy, material and water intensity, would result in a reduction of auxiliary input, if not compensated by an increase in production output. The percentage of enterprises in EU-25 which were providing intern CVT courses in 1999 varies from 41% to 79% depending on the sector considered: >

75%: Electricity, gas and water supply (79%)

>

60%: Motor vehicles (66%), Machinery equipment (63%), Chemicals and chemical products (60%)

>

50%: Mining and quarrying (59%), Food and beverages (55%)

>

40%: Transport (47%), Construction (41%)

It is assumed that the investments in training sessions for the human capital could reduce the use of resources. However, considering the high levels of GFCF occurring in construction works, metal products and machinery, it is assumed that investments in training for the human capital in those sectors do not significantly affect the assumed strong coupling of GFCF and resource use.

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 4: Relevance assessment of ‘investment patterns’

O

O

XX

X

O

XX

X

X

X

XX

X

Level 2 – Globalisation The ‘globalisation’ process goes hand in hand with increasing trade flows, both in monetary and physical terms. New trade opportunities through globalisation seem to favour an increase of resource use. Developing countries tend to be net exporters of raw materials, which are associated with large amounts of hidden flows, while industrial countries import those materials and export finished industrial products with high added value. The physical volume of exchanges (imports and exports measured in tonnes) gives insight into the resource use mobilised for global trade, though hidden flows are not accounted for. The volume of trade seems a more reasonable indicator than the physical trade balance (PTB) or the monetary trade balance (MTB), which only represent differences. One could, however, argue that the PTB could be used to look at burden shifting is78


FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

sues. In the same way, the MTB can give insight into the equity of trade between two partners. But, in terms of resource use and associated environmental impacts, it is the nature and the absolute amount of resources used that matters. Figure 32 shows that the EU-15 is a net importer of fossil fuels, biomass and industrial minerals. Construction minerals do not appear because domestic extraction is usually sufficient to satisfy European needs.

Figure 32: Physical Trade Balance of EU 15 Source: Eurostat and IFF 2002; Data set B

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 5: Relevance assessment of ‘globalisation’

XX

XX

XX

XX

XX

XX

X

XX

XX

X

XX

Level 1 – Production patterns Level 2 – Innovation A reasonable L3 indicator to represent the innovation effort in Europe may be the expenditure on research and development. Numerical data are available from Eurostat as the GERD (Gross domestic Expenditure on R&D). For the period 1990-2004 the GERD increased in absolute terms but remained almost constant at around 2% of the GDP. Industry accounts for 55% (constant), while the governments represent around 34% of the total (slight decrease over the period); about 8% comes from abroad (slight decrease also). There is no data detailed per production activity. Based on the comparison of GERD with GDP, it is assumed that there is no real positive trend in the innovation effort at the EU-25 level. Eurostat (2004, p.52) presents the results of a survey, which aimed to elicit the proportion of European enterprises with innovation activities. According to this survey the fol79


lowing shares of enterprises had innovation activities going on between 1998 and 2000 (the classification is based on NACE; the construction sector is not evaluated): (i) •

Mining and quarrying: 34%

Manufacturing: 47%

Electricity, gas and water supply: 37%

Transport and communication: 28%

Eurostat (2004, p.59) reveals that, among the enterprises where innovation activities were conducted, the following proportion considered that their innovation activity had a high impact with regard to the reduction of “materials and energy per produced unit”: (ii) •

Mining and quarrying + electricity, gas and water supply: 15%

Manufacturing: 11%

Transport and communication + Financial intermediation: 7%

By multiplying the aforementioned results (i) and (ii), one can estimate the proportion of enterprises in the EU in which the innovation activity had a high contribution to the reduction of materials and energy per produced unit: (iii) •

Mining and quarrying + electricity, gas and water supply: 5.1%

Manufacturing: 5.2%

Transport and communication: 2%

It is assumed that these shares reflect the relevance of innovation on resource use. However, a good proportion of enterprises with innovation activities also report that their innovation activity had a high positive impact on their production capacity (EC 2004, p.59): (iv) •

Mining and quarrying + electricity, gas and water supply: 22%

Manufacturing: 30%

Transport and communication + Financial intermediation: 16%

By multiplying (i) and (iv), one can therefore estimate the proportion of enterprises in the EU in which innovation activities had a high positive impact on production capacities: (v)

80

Mining and quarrying + electricity, gas and water supply: 7.5%

Manufacturing: 14.1%

Transport and communication: 4.5%


FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

Thus, the net effect of innovation on resource use depends on the evolution of the production. If production does not increase, then innovation can actually induce a reduction in resource use. However, if a larger production capacity is developed and utilized, then this effect could be offset and one could even end up with innovation being a cause of increased resource use. In both cases, the underlying factor “Innovation” is considered to be relevant for the issue of resource use. One can wonder whether there is a different impact of public and private GERD on resource use. A linear regression applied to the plot of direct material intensity (DMI intensity, in t / mio euro GDP) according to the public or private GERD of EU-15 gives the same result as with total GERD (see Figure 33): a negative correlation (bi = -16.34) with a high R2 (0.97). Due to lack of data, the plot only covers the period 1990-2000. This result has been cross-checked by applying the same treatment to certain EU members separately. The results are then similar for Finland, France, the Netherlands and UK but there is no correlation at all for Spain. The seemingly negative correlation between GERD (whether public or private) and DMI intensity given by this very rough analysis should be considered with great care. Hoffmann (2004) indeed conducted a multi-variable regression analysis in order to find factors influencing DMI and concluded that the significance of the GERD factor was generally negligible in relation to other factors. Given the uncertainty at this point, the assumption made in the former paragraph (“GERD is relevant”) is retained. The construction sector is assumed to follow the same pattern as the activities studied by (Eurostat 2004). The results from Eurostat (2004) for ‘manufacturing’ are assumed to be relevant in the present study for ‘chemicals and chemical products’, ‘machinery equipment’ and ‘motor vehicles’, while the results for ‘mining and quarrying’ are associated here with ‘basic metals’. It is furthermore assumed that the production of renewable raw materials or energy carriers from biomass will profit strongly in the near future from R&D investments. Therefore, the ‘innovation’ underlying factor is seen as very relevant for the agricultural and forestry sectors and as a consequence for the food and beverage industry. Along with land competition and changing agricultural production patterns, the possibly increased dependence on imported biomass and the associated burden shifting are of primary concern.

81


Figure 33: Evolution of the DMI intensity in EU-15 compared with Gross domestic Source: Eurostat

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 6: Relevance assessment of ‘innovation’

XX

XX

X

X

XX

X

X

X

X

X

X

Level 2 – Composition of material input Considering the eleven activities separately, one could decide upon a set of indicators representing the composition of the material input to those activities, and thus get an insight into their respective resource use. The share of secondary input could be one such indicator, as the production of secondary material is usually associated with lower resource use than the primary production. It could also be reasonable to track the input of certain sensitive materials, either because their production is traditionally associated with high resource use and waste (e.g. precious metals), or because their transformation in the production process will generate waste that is of particular concern (e.g. hazardous chemicals). Keeping record of the composition of the material input of production activities also provides information about their (waste) output, in line with the concept of the industrial metabolism of: “what goes in must come out”. The share of renewable feedstock and fuel in the input to the manufacturing industry and energy sector, respectively, could be another indicator of the sustainability of the material input composition.

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FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 7: Relevance assessment of ‘composition of material input’

X

X

XX

XX

X

XX

XX

XX

X

XX

X

Level 2 – Recycling When it comes to limiting the use of primary resources, one obvious option (besides reducing production output) is to increase the use of secondary input at the expense of primary material. In this respect, the indicator called ‘rate of secondary production’ represents the share of secondary input in total input. The ‘recycling rate’, on the other hand, stands for the amount of secondary material produced out of end-of-life products or waste. An increasing recycling rate could offer increasing amounts of secondary material for industrial production. An important parameter to consider besides the recycling rate is the lifetime of products or systems. The recycling rate indeed only applies to end-of-life products. The absolute amount of secondary material actually available therefore depends on where one is situated in the life cycle of a productionconsumption system. For instance, the introduction of a new technology at a large scale (e.g. fuel cell vehicles) could require huge amounts of primary resources (e.g. platinum) associated with important environmental impacts and waste. Even though this resource is recyclable (e.g. platinum is technically 100% recyclable), significant amounts of secondary materials will not be available before a period roughly equal to the lifetime of the first products. And even then, in absence of important technological improvement, the secondary input will not cover the demand for resources of such an expanding technology. It is assumed that recycling is also relevant for resource use in the ‘transport’, ‘energy’ and ‘water’ sectors. The important logistics behind any recollection and recycling scheme explain the choice for the former activities. As an alternative to landfill disposal and energy recovery through incineration, recycling (incl. reuse) is relevant regarding energy and water use (e.g. paper recycling or reusable glass bottles).

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 8: Relevance assessment of ‘recycling’

X

X

XX

XX

?

X

X

X

X

X

X

83


Level 2 – Material intensity Obviously ‘material intensity’ (measured as material input per economic output, where the latter is measured in physical, functional or economic terms) is an underlying factor highly relevant for all the considered activities. In each of them the material flows observed at the European level are indeed too high to be sustainable. More precisely, when looking at the material part of resource intensity, it can reflect the influence of (or the need for) strategies towards sustainability, such as dematerialisation. The previous two underlying factors (‘composition of material input’ and ‘recycling’) are in this respect more relevant for strategies such as the substitution of a problematic input by another one, hopefully less harmful.

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 9: Relevance assessment of ‘resource intensity’

XX

XX

XX

XX

XX

XX

XX

XX

XX

XX

XX

Level 1 – Consumption patterns Level 2 – Food and drink The consumption of meat and dairy produce is stressed here as the most influential aspect of the food and drink consumption, when it comes to its impact on resource use. The L3 indicator is represented by the ‘meat consumption per capita’, available online on the Eurostat website. Data, however, is only available for the EU-15. The meat consumption oscillates for the period 1995-2002, but the general trend is on the increase. The same is assumed for dairy produce. Since the production of meat is the least efficient of all food production from the field to the fork, it is assumed that meat consumption is very relevant regarding resource use for the following sectors: ‘agricultural and forestry’, ‘chemicals and chemical products’ (mainly due to the use of fertilizers and pesticides to grow feed crops), ‘food products and beverages’ and ‘energy’ and ‘water’ (in the agriculture as well as in the food processing industry). It is assumed that the correlation is lower for ‘motor vehicles’ ‘machinery equipment’ and ‘transport’. The ‘meat and dairy produce consumption’ indicator is assumed to have no relevance for the production of basic metals and for the construction sector.

84


FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 10: Relevance assessment of ‘food and drink’

XX

XX

O

XX

XX

X

X

XX

XX

O

X

Level 2 – Housing, leisure, transport and communication The patterns applying to the three consumption areas ‘housing’, ‘leisure’ and ‘transport and communication’ can be seen as underlying factors driving resource use and waste generation in certain activities. It can be considered, as a first approximation, that the relevant activities are those directly involved in fulfilling these three needs. The way consumers choose to fulfil these needs depends on other factors, like their aforementioned ‘aspirations’, level of income or natural conditions. The effect of this choice could be captured by indicators such as the average size of households, the average vacation time or the average electronic equipment rate. For instance, ‘housing’ is obviously relevant for ‘construction’ (and hence for ‘machinery’). The construction techniques have developed towards a massive use of steel (for the structure) and copper (e.g. for the electrical equipment etc), which indicates a relevance for the ‘basic metals’ sector. ‘Chemicals and chemical products’ are also increasingly important (e.g. plastics, surface treatments).

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 11: Relevance assessment of ‘housing’

O

X

X

X

O

X

X

XX

X

XX

X

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 12: Relevance assessment of ‘leisure’

?

?

O

O

O

O

X

X

X

X

XX

85


Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 13: Relevance assessment of ‘transport and communication’

O

O

X

X

O

XX

XX

XX

X

XX

XX

Level 1 – Demographical factors Level 2 – Ageing society It can be assumed that the ongoing ageing of the European population will have an influence (positive or negative) on certain sectors regarding resource use. For instance, an increasingly ageing society could lead to increases in pharmaceutical consumption (relevant for ‘chemical products’). The development towards an ageing society also raises other questions, such as: Where will a rapidly growing number of older people decide to live and in which type of lodging? Which transport means will fit them? Will there be a change in the average European diet as a result of more and older people? Which consequences would this have for European agriculture?

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 14: Relevance assessment of ‘ageing society’

X

?

?

X

X

?

X

X

X

X

X

Level 2 – Settlement patterns Different indicators, such as the respective shares of rural and urban populations, could be used to reflect certain trends in settlement patterns of the European population. These patterns are also most likely to be relevant for the environmental problem fields considered in the present study. Urban sprawl, for instance, is responsible for the sealing of agricultural land; unless urban planning favours an increase of population density and therefore refrains from using agricultural land to build residential areas. A report from the EEA (2005d, p.21) anticipates further increases in the number of households in Europe for the coming 25 years (over 35% more households in 2030 than in 1990 but with less than 2.5 persons per household instead of slightly more than 3 persons in 1990). This forecast thus points towards an increased risk of further urban sprawl. This is likely to have positive impacts on the construction sector with knock on 86


FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

effects on other activities, such as ‘basic metals’, ‘machinery equipment’ and ‘chemicals’. Extended urban and suburban areas will also have relevant knock on effects in terms of transport infrastructure (especially private transport), making ‘transport’ also very relevant.

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 15: Relevance assessment of ‘settlement patterns’

X

X

X

X

?

X

X

XX

XX

XX

XX

Level 2 – Population density Population density in itself is already a numerical, empirical indicator. As already indicated above lower population density might imply higher resource use for a number of activities such as ‘construction’ (infrastructure needed to connect scattered settlements), ‘transport’ (probably predominance of private transport over collective and less resource intensive means of transport), ‘energy’ (e.g. detached family house requires more energy for heating than semi-detached houses or flats), and ‘motor vehicles manufacturing’ (importance of private transport). The relevance for the other activities, however, is not quite clear. An illustration of the possible link between population density and resource use is shown at an aggregate level in Figure 34, which shows that the per capita material consumption of a country tends to decrease with increases in population density.

Figure 34: DMC per capita with respect to population density in some EU-15 countries in 2000 Source: Eurostat, Schütz

87


Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 16: Relevance assessment of ‘population density’

X

X

X

?

?

X

X

XX

X

XX

XX

Level 1 – Natural system conditions Level 2 – Climate change The exact nature and scale of environmental impacts directly and indirectly caused by climate change are currently unknown and can only be estimated. What is, however, widely accepted, is that climate change will increase water stress in southern Europe, while precipitations will increase in northern Europe. More extreme weather episodes are also expected, which implies e.g. more drought periods and an increased frequency of flooding events. This will have large consequences for the agricultural sector. One can also assume that the construction sector might benefit from increases in extreme weather events due to rebuilding and restoration activities. In some cases, infrastructures could require more resource use in the future, if they are dimensioned to resist to such events. The increasingly unbalanced precipitations between northern and southern Europe, coupled with higher irrigation demand, especially in the south, could lead to the export of water from the north to the south, which would have an impact on the construction (e.g. pipelines) and transport sectors (e.g. tankers). Another plausible outcome would be the development of desalinisation facilities in the south, which would have an influence on the energy sector.

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 17: Relevance assessment of ‘climate change’

XX

XX

?

?

X

?

X

XX

XX

X

X

Level 2 – Resource depletion The inevitable exhaustion of exploited ore bodies or fossil fuel deposits induces price increases of those raw materials and pushes the limits of economically viable exploitation. Following the depletion of existing high grade ores, mining companies will start to extract ores of lower grades and petroleum companies will drill deeper or treat non88


FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

traditional oil reserves (e.g. sand oil in Canada). As a consequence, there will be an increase in the ratio of unused over used extraction and in the energy needed for the beneficiation process. As larger amounts of materials have to be transported and treated for the same production, the machinery equipments are scaled up. The exhaustion of domestic resources implies that raw materials will need to be imported from further away (high relevance for ‘transport’). The future availability and prices of resources such as metals or fossil fuels will probably impact sectors such as ‘motor vehicles manufacturing’ and ‘transport’ (e.g. dematerialisation, substitution, secondary materials). Construction minerals are generally fairly abundant but regional discrepancies could explain that some regions (e.g. the Netherlands) will increasingly rely on imports of such minerals to cover the needs of their construction activities. Land, soil and water are other resources whose depletion can lead to tremendous increases in resource use. For instance, lack of land or of soil nutrients might be compensated through intensive agriculture with regards to the use of fertilizers and other chemicals. Importing or producing fresh water also has a large cost in terms of energy and resource use. The volume and composition of the industrial material flows are both drivers of resource depletion. In return, the depletion of resources has an impact on the composition of material flows (e.g. though substitution effects) and on the volume, at least of hidden flows (processing of lower grade ores).

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 18: Relevance assessment of ‘resource depletion’

XX

X

XX

XX

?

X

X

XX

XX

X

XX

Level 2 – Natural catastrophes The ‘natural catastrophes’ underlying factor could be represented by indicators dealing with e.g. the type, the frequency or the intensity of these events. There is, however, no obvious link between resource use and natural catastrophes, even though one could argue that the rebuilding of possibly destroyed infrastructures would impact the amount of resources used by the construction sector.

89


Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 19: Relevance assessment of ‘natural catastrophes’

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

X

?

Summary The ‘usual suspects’ regarding resource use (construction, mining and quarrying, agriculture, basic metals and fabricated metal products, energy and water supply, and transport) seem primarily sensitive to drivers stemming from the economic development and production patterns arenas. Consumption patterns also play a role in driving resource use, especially when it comes to satisfying the basic need for food. All these drivers of resource use in the EU are all the more relevant in that they are also drivers of waste generation (remember the socio-industrial metabolism), which for certain activities, such as mining or agriculture, may occur in other parts of the world (which leads to problem shifting, but not problem solving). It is difficult to assess, and certainly even more difficult to control, the driving effect of underlying factors such as ageing population or climate change. It is, however, very probable that such profound changes will bear important consequences on resource use and waste generation.

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FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

Table 20 shows the results of the plausibility analysis conducted above for the driving forces of the theme resource use and waste.

91


Table 20: Analysis of underlying drivers for resource use and waste

6.3.

Delineation of driving forces in the topic field of water and water use

As explained above, the concept of the socio-industrial metabolism and the DPSIR framework are used as the basis for the delineation of driving forces for each problem field. Figure 35 shows the concept of the socio-industrial metabolism and the adapted DPSIR framework in the context of the topic field of water and water use.

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FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

Figure 35: The socio-industrial metabolic system applied to water, with the surrounding DPSIR framework and its’ impact on the underlying factors.

Increasing water stress or shortage of water, is affecting an increasing part of the world and is of increasing severity. Primary drivers for water stress are high population density, extensive and inefficient irrigation, rapid industrial growth, changes in rainfall patterns, and various uses of water sources for waste assimilation and exploitation for hydropower generation, but also other factors. Below follows a list following the general matrix of drivers developed within the FORESCENE project. As before, the unified matrix, presenting an overview of the underlying drivers identified for the theme water and water use., is provided at the end of this section.

Level 1 – Economic development Europe does not have a homogeneous pattern of wealth and economic development. Western and northern Europe have some of the highest standards of living in the world in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, life expectancy, literacy rate, level of health care, or other common criteria. The standard of living in southern Europe today is close to that in most western European countries. The new EU member states in eastern Europe faced major economic difficulties related to the rapid transition from the planned economies that prevailed into the early 1990s, but are all on their way towards free-market economies; the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary have been most successful in the transition to a free-market economy. 93


Level 2 – Economic growth Economic growth is the obvious cause of many biophysical impacts. The most important economic practices as drivers of the adverse biophysical impacts in the context of water are: -

Irrigation and drainage, use of fertilizers and manure, use of pesticides and herbicides, agricultural land use, disturbance of natural vegetation, fish and wildlife,

-

Primary water consumption, industrial process consumption and waste assimilation,

-

Power generation, which is including dam construction, changing water levels of rivers, changing the course of rivers, water use for cooling and cleaning.

In addition, chemical production, which goes hand in hand with economic growth in advanced economies, requires significant amounts of water. The same applies to the food industry with increasing level of processed food. Economic growth, especially in Eastern Europe, will lead to increased construction and transport activities and thus to higher levels of sealed surfaces with derivation of rain water flows.

94


FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 21: Relevance assessment of ‘economic growth’

XX

X

X

XX

XX

O

O

XX

XX

X

X

Level 2 – Globalisation Globalisation is a general trend affecting many sectors within the societies of the EU25. The increasing amount of import and export of agricultural products is associated with growing importance of virtual water and thus a different distribution pattern of water supply for and consumption of agricultural goods. Increased import of plantation wood may impact the hydrological systems in the supplying regions. The increased import of base metals into the EU is associated with growing mining and refining activities, which often compete for water with other activities, such as agriculture, in the supplying countries. The production of chemicals, machinery and motor vehicles also requires process water, although the impact of globalisation on the latter can hardly be assessed. The use of energy and water is affecting the water resources also in an indirect way, as the demand for transporting and storing products is increasing with increasing globalisation.

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 22: Relevance assessment of ‘globalisation’

X

X

X

X

X

?

?

X

X

O

?

Level 2 – Investment patterns Investment patterns of all sectors may have significant impact on all sectors and their water consumption, either through enhancement of water use according to existing technologies and use pattern or through more qualified use and the introduction of new and possibly more efficient technologies (the latter aspect is not regarded here but under the category of material intensity).

95


Investment patterns are likely to change, if water charges are to be included in the production costs. It will likely have most impact on the water use of sectors where much water is needed for the processes, such as in the agricultural and food product industry.

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 23: Relevance assessment of ‘Investment patterns’

X

X

X

X

X

?

O

XX

XX

X

O

Level 1– Production patterns Level 2 – Innovation Innovations will be stimulated within water-saving technologies and improvement of processes within all sectors that use water during processing and manufacturing. Potential innovations that lead to lower water consumption may be expected in agriculture and the energy supply sector, which require the highest water input. There has been a relative decoupling of water use from economic growth, driven in part by technological innovation (EEA 2004a). This trend is likely to continue.

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 24: Relevance assessment of ‘innovation’

XX

X

X

X

X

X

X

XX

X

O

O

Level 2 – Recycling Improved recycling of blue water resource, including grey water, will increase substantially in parts of Europe where these resources will be limited. This will influence both the agricultural sector as well as the construction sector.

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FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 25: Relevance assessment of ‘recycling’

XX

O

X

X

X

X

X

X

XX

XX

O

Level 2 – Composition of material input Material input in a wider sense comprises also water inputs, and in that regard the distinction between deep ground water and (near) surface water as inputs for agricultural and sometimes other industrial activities may become important, although this seems more relevant for countries providing exports to the EU. Material input in a more narrow sense comprises all the various solid, liquid and gaseous materials used for certain processes. Depending on the technologies used, processing of different materials requires different amounts, and sometimes quality, of water. For instance, maize in agriculture requires more water input than other cereals. Coal fired central power generation require significantly higher amounts of cooling water than indirect water requirements of small-scale gas fired CHP power stations or wind turbines.

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 26: Relevance assessment of ‘composition of material input’

XX

X

X

X

XX

O

O

XX

XX

X

O

Level 2 – Material intensity Material intensity analysis comprises water as one of five separate input categories. In order to avoid confusion, "water intensity" should be distinguished from the material intensity in the narrow sense (the latter comprising the materials considered also by TMR accounting). Water intensity per se determines the amount of water used in the various sectors. Material intensity of products – in a life cycle wide perspective – is often linked to water intensity because the more materials are extracted, processed, transported, used, recycled and disposed off, the more water is derived from natural water bodies. Here, a sectoral perspective is applied, and for the various activities the material intensity of their products (within each sector) seems directly and at least indirectly related to the water consumption in the processes applied or in upstream proc97


esses. Of special importance seem the linkages in agriculture, where higher harvest usually requires higher input of water (rain or irrigation), energy supply (where material intensive power generation uses enormous amounts of cooling water), and water supply itself (where the extent of the infrastructure depends on the amount of water managed).

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 27: Relevance assessment of ‘material intensity’

XX

X

X

X

X

X

X

XX

XX

X

X

Level 1 – Consumption patterns Level 2 – Food and Drink The demand for food and drink, i.e. the consumption pattern of food, determines the type of crop produced, whether it comes from irrigated or water fed regions, and whether it is animal based or plant based, the former usually requiring more water input. The indirect water use, especially for energy supply, usually exceeds direct water consumption of households. Introduction and/or increases of water prices will with necessity influence the food and beverage industry.

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 28: Relevance assessment of ‘food and drink’

X

O

O

X

XX

O

O

X

XX

O

O

Level 2 – Housing The demand for housing is associated with direct water supply, and indirect water use for energy provision. Construction activities lead to an expansion of sealed surfaces and thus interfere with blue water flows. Chemicals are used for water supply and waste water treatment. Housing in both urban as well as rural areas will be affected by water shortage, as it will demand special attention to infrastructure issues such as utilization of water supply, as well as water quality.

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FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 29: Relevance assessment of ‘housing’

X

O

O

X

O

O

O

X

XX

X

O

Level 2 – Leisure Increasing demand for leisure activities will also impact water related problems. Many leisure activities are directly or indirectly coupled to water resources and many leisure and green areas are often established in the vicinity of water bodies. This will affect the consumption patterns of populations which tend to shift towards services such as social and leisure activities, including mass tourism with subsequent environmental impacts (EEA 2004a).

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 30: Relevance assessment of ‘leisure’

O

O

O

X

X

O

O

X

X

X

O

Level 2 – Transport and Communication Demand for transport and communication will also induce consumption of resource intensive goods, which may enhance water related problems. Europe has highly developed transportation systems, which are densest in the central part of the continent; Fennoscandia, the former Soviet Union, and southern Europe have fewer transport facilities in relation to their land area. Europeans own large numbers of private cars, and much freight is transported by road. Rail networks are well maintained in most European countries and are important carriers of passengers as well as freight. Water transport also plays a major role in the European economy. Rotterdam, in The Netherlands, is one of the world's busiest seaports. Much freight is carried on inland waterways; European rivers with substantial traffic include the Rhine, Elbe, Danube, Volga, and Dnepr. In addition, Europe has a number of important canals.

99


Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 31: Relevance assessment of ‘transport and communication’

X

?

X

?

X

?

X

X

?

X

X

Level 1 – Demography Impacts of the ageing society on the consumption of resource intensive goods, which may be of relevance for water, are difficult to assess with sufficient plausibility. Level 2 – Population settlement Rapidly increasing urbanization is one of the most distinctive changes seen over the previous and current century. Flexible and innovative solutions are needed to cope with sudden and substantial changes in the spatial pattern of water demand for people and their associated economic activities. There is an increasing need for innovative water supply methods and technologies, while water re-use options have to be further developed and implemented. The number of households will increase throughout Europe, while the average household size is diminishing (EEA 2005a). Smaller households tend to be less efficient, requiring more resources per capita than larger households, including water resources (EEA 2004a). Europe’s rural population is declining, and this long observed trend is expected to continue (EEA 2004a).

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 32: Relevance assessment of ‘population settlement’

XX

O

O

O

O

O

O

XX

XX

O

O

Level 2 – Population density Europe has the highest overall population density of all the continents. The most heavily populated area includes a belt originating in England and continuing eastward through Belgium and the Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and into the European part of Russia. Northern Italy also has a high population density. The average annual growth rate for the European population during the 1980s 100


FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

was only about 0.3%; by comparison, in the same period, the population of Asia grew by about 1.8% per year and that of North America by about 0.9% annually. At the same time, wide variations in growth rate occurred from country to country in Europe. The overall slow rate of population increase in the latter half of the 20th century has been the result primarily of a low birth rate (IPCC 1997). Many rural and under-developed areas lack significant infrastructure such as water and wastewater services. People are self supporting and have small scale agricultural activities, while industrial activity is mostly absent (WISE 2005). Changes in population density will therefore have impacts on water and energy supply and agriculture and the water related issues associated with these activities.

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 33: Relevance assessment of ‘population density’

XX

O

O

O

O

O

O

X

XX

O

O

Level 1 – Natural system conditions Level 2 – Climate change According to the IPCC report (1997), the climate change challenge is not just about long term changes in average precipitation, but also about increased frequency and severity of extreme events such as droughts and floods. There is a need for appropriate, timely and readily understandable mitigation, warning and management methods and measures to minimize short and long-term damages. Adaptive solutions will be required which will significantly reduce the social and economic impacts. Climate change will especially affect activities such as water and energy supply, agriculture and forestry with regard to water related problems. It may lead to regional shortages in the supply of certain food or drink products, and it will affect construction and transport activities related to water use.

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 34: Relevance assessment of ‘climate change’

XX

XX

O

0

X

O

O

XX

XX

X

X

101


Level 2 – Resource depletion The general trend in Europe is that groundwater consumption is increasing in southern Europe, while the situation is unchanged or has improved in northern Europe. However, the lack of accurate estimates of sizes of groundwater resources is making the prognosis uncertain (EEA 2005a). In most parts of southern and eastern Europe much of the drinking water is derived from blue, surface water. Due to surface water pollution and the increasing occurrence of droughts, these areas will face increasingly events of water shortage. In particular, the shortage of good quality drinking water in some areas of Europe is likely to increase. The depletion of appropriate water resources will probably affect all activities with regard to their performance of water use, especially the agriculture and food industry. The evidence of the deterioration of the marine environment continues to accumulate, pointing to potentially irreversible changes – as illustrated by the poor state of certain fish stocks in Europe or the effects of eutrophication on the marine ecology of the Baltic Sea. The current deterioration of the marine environment jeopardises the generation of wealth and employment opportunities derived from Europe’s oceans and seas, e.g. fisheries and tourism (WISE 2005), and will probably affect many coastal areas.

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 35: Relevance assessment of ‘resource depletion’

XX

X

X

X

XX

X

X

X

X

X

X

Level 2 – Natural catastrophes Natural catastrophes can create or worsen water problems in a number of activities, but most specifically in sectors relying on the harvest of natural goods (e.g. agriculture and forestry, and indirectly the food and beverage industry). Sectors that need large volumes of water (e.g. cooling water in thermal electricity generation) under certain natural or man-made conditions (e.g. river flow for transport, dam for hydroelectricity, river flow and temperature for cooling water) are likely to participate in the aggravation of water problems in case of natural catastrophes. The fate of water problems driven (at least partly) by natural catastrophes is also closely related to that of climate change, which may induce increasingly frequent and severe extreme events such as droughts, floods and storms.

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FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 36: Relevance assessment of ‘natural catastrophes’

XX

XX

O

O

X

O

X

XX

?

O

X

Summary In a single matrix, Table 37 presents an overview of the results of the analysis conducted above. Three major activities drive water consumption in Europe: agriculture (irrigation, pollution), industrial production (process and cooling water) and household consumption (potable water). These drivers are all likely to increase. The situation will also change differently within Europe with climate change. The major threats of the water sources of Europe, including both surface as well as ground water, are non-point source contamination, over-consumption and irrigation, and changes in water regimes due to climate change. The adoption of the EU’s Water Framework Directive is a progress in the right direction, but needs to be firmly implemented throughout Europe, so as to ensure water accessibility and water quality for future generations.

103


Table 37: Analysis of underlying drivers for water and water use

6.4.

Delineation of driving forces in the topic field of landscape, biodiversity and soils

Given the commonality of the three themes landscape, biodiversity and soils, there is considerable cross-linkage between them and they are most usefully summarised in a single matrix. Table 55 (at the end of this section) presents the initial results of the analysis of underlying drivers for these three areas. 104


FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

Clearly the impacts of economic growth, global trade and investment patterns are likely to be a key driver of change, since they fundamentally influence the way in which land cover is transformed over time, and the way land resources are allocated between different activity sectors in the economy. They will also be important in determining the way land is assigned to such uses as housing, leisure and transport. The loss of agricultural land through development generally, and the expansion of land management related to activities unrelated to food production (e.g. bio-fuels and tourism) are also likely to be key future drivers of change in rural areas. Changes in production patterns are also likely to be key cross-cutting drivers, acting, through innovation, in the form of new crops and new types of production systems, and more generally through reductions in the intensity of use of traditional inputs, such as energy, fertiliser and water. In part changes in consumption patterns are driven by new consumer preferences. Already we have seen the importance of local food production systems in rural areas, where locality is used to establish a market niche. While changes in population and population density are unlikely to be significant directly in transforming landscape, biodiversity and soils, the effects of an aging society may become significant in that it could potentially transform the way land is managed and owned, and ultimately used. The pressures arising from social and economic change will clearly take place against a backdrop of more natural environmental changes, most obviously related to human impacts on climate. The consequences of such changes are difficult to assess because while they may be significant in biophysical terms, many of the impacts are likely to arise as more indirect consequences triggered through changes to consumption and production patterns. The need to balance human use of water, for example, with the flows necessary to sustain good ecological conditions in rivers will involve the resolution of a number of trade-offs by society. In the account that follows we make the distinction between the ‘direct’ and ‘indirect’ drivers of change, set out in the concept of the “socio-industrial metabolism” that is used as the basis for the Project. Within the model the more immediate or proximal pressures are those arising from the various activities associated with internal or endogenous processes generated by the metabolism of the socio-industrial system, and the external or exogenous forces that may influence the system through their influence on quality and quantity of activities that affect economic performance. Those exogenous forces (the “underlying factors”) can in turn have a direct or indirect influence on the activities and the pressures and consequent impacts induced by them. In each case we attempt to identify appropriate state and pressure indicators.

Level 1 – Economic development Development of the service sector within Europe is leading to new patterns of economic activity in both rural and urban areas, as businesses are able to decentralise with the development of a more knowledge-based economy. As a result, there is increased opportunity to redevelop and restore landscapes that have been impacted by past economic activity, and reduce the secondary impacts of industrial activity on biodiversity and soils through the types of resource extraction and polluting activities as105


sociated with both primary activities and manufacturing. The attempt to decouple economic growth from its impacts on the environment generally will mean that the intensity of impacts of all activity areas on landscape, biodiversity and soils may reduce. By contrast, changing patterns of global trade and investment may nevertheless transform many of the activity areas by, for example, influencing locational decisions with knockon effects for the wider environment. As a result, within Europe the major impacts are likely to be observed in the construction, transport, water and energy activity sectors, along with possible impacts in the chemical and chemical products area. At the same time, economic growth and related increases of production and consumption volume in Europe will induce growing material flows for raw material supply and thus impact also regions outside of Europe by extractive industries and basic manufacturing, associated also with growing pollution and final waste disposal. For each of the level 2 factors described above, appropriate level 3 indicators would consist of spatially disaggregated measures of economic growth and investment to say NUTS-x level, differentiated by activity sector, together with measures of output and value by sector. Land cover change accounts linked to the activity sectors through land use information would also be valuable.

Level 2 – Economic growth It has been argued by the European Commission that current approaches to spatial planning need to be improved because, as the 1999 European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP) emphasised, present patterns of development across Europe are highly concentrated. One aim of the ESDP is to set up mechanisms creating and strengthening urban-rural relationships, promoting the polycentric development of the EU territory and preserving regional identities (natural, cultural heritage) (see section 5.2.1). These mechanisms should stir the EU development towards many well-spread prosperous areas presenting a preserved diversity in the face of globalisation and allowing a parity access to infrastructure and knowledge. These new patterns of economic development will impact on the resources associated with landscape, biodiversity and soils mainly as a result of the spatial reorganisation that they imply. Thus as prosperity increases in those countries that have recently joined the EU there will be greater pressure on the environment locally, through the consumption of land for new building (and the consequential indirect effects on biodiversity and soils). In those areas, which have traditionally been more prosperous, there will be the need to redevelop and renew infrastructure, and the opportunity to reduce the current level of impact by better design. Besides the direct and strong indirect effects of economic growth on agriculture, energy supply, water supply, construction and transport which become manifest in the EU, there are also impacts on land use, soil and biodiversity through indirect impacts of growing demand of European production in other parts of the world. This relates to forest products (e.g. wood chips for energy supply), basic metals (e.g. iron and copper ore concentrates), chemical products (e.g. mineral fertilizer), machinery equipment and motor vehicles (which require metals that cause impacts in mining and refining).

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FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 38: Relevance assessment to economic growth

XX

X

X

X

X

X

X

XX

XX

XX

XX

Level 2 – Globalisation The trade liberalisation-globalisation agenda will lead to an increase of the importance of foreign trade in relation to domestic production and consumption. It is likely to significantly impact upon the resources associated with landscape, biodiversity and soils, mainly through its effects on production subsidies to agriculture and therefore the ways in which land and the wider landscape is managed. Other impacts relate to the increasing share of imported feed and growing export of agricultural products which vary according to the specialisation of European regions. Energy supply via biofuels may have a significant impact on global landscapes and would be facilitated significantly through liberalized foreign trade. The transport sector as such is directly linked to the increase of globalised activities. Metal manufacturing is increasingly relying on foreign resource supply which has an impact in the form of expanded mining in other regions, while mines within Europe are gradually closed due to the depletion of resources. Apart from those effects, there are also indirect impacts such as growing imports and exports of forestry products, which for the EU´s demand are still to a significant share stemming from illegal logging, which changes landscapes in tropical countries. Chemical products, machinery equipment and automobiles are products, which are increasingly exported from Europe and thus require indirect raw material resources that are sourced from other parts of the world, either by mining or agriculture and forestry, and thus have a more indirect impacts on landscape, soils and biodiversity.

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 39: Relevance assessment to globalisation

XX

X

XX

X

XX

X

X

XX

O

O

XX

107


Level 2 – Investment patterns The impacts of changing investment patterns on landscape, biodiversity and soils are difficult to trace, although to some extent they must reflect the pressures described above in relation to economic growth and globalisation. Investment patterns in agriculture go hand in hand with the level of intensification. An indicator to represent the evolution of the level of intensification could regard the conversion of certain types of agricultural land to other types of agricultural land cover. This is indeed a major factor that has to be considered in order to understand the environmental, economic and social problems associated with landscape. At the aggregated level the overall trends show a loss of farmed land (to urban and forest). But there are marked regional and local differences, notably with the conversion of marginal land to agriculture in some parts of Europe (see section 6.2). A specific Level 3 indicator that could be used to look at the balance between the processes of agricultural intensification and extensification in Europe is the exchange of land between arable and pasture. This is, in fact, one of the land cover indicators suggested by the IRENA (Delbaere 2003) initiative (IRENA 24b). In addition, also investments into other activities may have a significant impact on landscape, soil and biodiversity. This relates to forestry (European forests have expanded during recent years), and especially to construction, where enormous investments are undertaken year by year that lead to a steady expansion of the built-up area and a conversion of natural and semi-natural land. Investments into the transport sector again go hand in hand with the development of infrastructure. The investments into the energy sector are also important as they impact either mineral (e.g. coal) or biomass based resources and infrastructures, which also require land. More indirect effects are associated with investments into basic metals, chemical products, machinery and vehicles. Depending on the type of infrastructure the impact of investments into water supply may differ significantly also from region to region. While market forces are likely to be significant, the influence of the regulatory environment on investment patterns should not be underestimated. The demand for higher levels of environmental performance across all activity sectors within Europe may mean that potentially damaging activities are ‘exported’ to the developing world, or shifted to where regulatory standards are less costly to achieve. Once again this may result in a degree of spatial reorganisation within Europe, with the resulting impacts on landscape, biodiversity and soils. The evolution of a more comprehensive and effective regulatory environment that is likely to reshape investment patterns, can be seen in relation to the various Directives concerned with biodiversity, water and soils that have now been implemented within the EU, and other policies and measures promoted by the EU for rural development and landscape conservation. This includes the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive (CEC - Commission of the European Communities 2003a), the recent introduction of Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA), the Water Framework Directive (WFD), the EU’s Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection (TSSP), the EU Habitats Directive (CEC – Commission of the European Communities 1992) and the devel108


FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

opment of agro-environmental measures following the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy 8 (see section 6.3).

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 40: Relevance assessment to investment patterns

XX

XX

X

X

X

X

X

XX

X

XX

XX

Level 1– Production patterns The potential effects of innovation on production patterns of the key sectors are difficult to assess. Innovations in the agriculture and forestry sector – e.g. on hectare productivity and type of crop and cultivation scheme - may have the highest direct impact on landscape, soil and biodiversity. Nevertheless, innovation in all other key sectors demanding biomass or mineral resources must be expected to have relevant indirect effects as well. For instance, innovations in the transport sector could significantly change the demand for infrastructures and resulting built-up area. Even the production of motor vehicles, although relative distant from the primary sector, may have a profound impact through changed product design on primary resource requirements such as metals which in the end impact landscapes and soil.

Level 2 – Innovation Changing patterns of energy demand and distribution are likely to be key drivers of future landscape changes as a result of: •

the need to reduce emissions and ensure more secure energy supplies, which will further encourage the growth of energy crops on land previously used for food production; and,

the expansion of structures associated with the exploitation of renewable energy resources such as wind and water.

The expansion of energy crops, along with the more widespread cultivation of other industrial crops, will clearly be driven by the rate and pattern of innovation in different economic sectors. However, the impact in the problem area related to landscape, biodiversity and soils is most likely to be seen through the effect on agricultural land use and the intensity of agricultural production, and forestry. The potential demand for biofuels, and the extent to which it can be met from within Europe, is a potentially important issue, since at a global scale there are concerns that the impacts of higher crop prices will lead to lower food security in the developing world and the expansion of ag8

http://europa.eu/pol/agr/index_en.htm

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riculture into marginal areas. The loss of tropical rainforest and the carbon released by such destruction, for example, could offset carbon savings achieved through reduced fossil fuel consumption. It has been argued that policies promoting the greater use of biofuels in Europe should await the arrival of ‘second generation’ technologies that would allow biofuel to be produced from any plant material. Such technologies would also have a smaller carbon footprint because the amount of energy-intensive fertilisers and fungicides will remain the same despite an increase in the output of useable material. The potential conflict between the need for food and the need for fuel is fundamentally dependent on the pace and pattern of innovation. Although the impacts of innovation in the production of food and fibre are most likely to be seen in the effect that they will have on land use patterns, indirect effects are also likely to be seen through the knock-on effects of changes in land management for biodiversity and soils. Since these are at present largely unknown, the impacts of innovation are possibly best measured by Level 3 indicators related to specific land use change, the mix of agricultural outputs disaggregated spatially, and the levels of R&D investment made in sectors related to biofuel and industrial crop production.

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 41: Relevance assessment to innovation

XX

XX

X

X

X

X

X

XX

X

XX

XX

Level 2 – Recycling The decline of many of the heavy industries that have dominated Europe’s more urbanised landscapes has left a legacy of industrial dereliction and contamination. In order to address the social, economic and environmental problems associated with such areas, recent policy has emphasised the need to reclaim and reuse these areas. As a result policies to promote ‘brownfield development’ have been widely encouraged. Reuse of previously developed land is also particularly important to prevent or mitigate the sprawl of urban development on to agricultural or semi-natural land. The reuse of previously developed land, perhaps represents ‘recycling’ in its widest sense, and in terms of sustainable development, new design and building technologies will have to take account of potential after use of sites and materials once the original purpose of the structure has disappeared. At present it is clear, however, that brownfield development is transforming land use patterns in and around our cities. Such developments reflect the shift from manufacturing towards a more service-based economy, and will help ensure that the environmental burden of past activities is reduced.

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The development of recycling technologies more specifically is likely to transform and use patterns and associated environmental pressures on landscape, biodiversity and soils. The Landfill Directive (CEC – Commission of the European Communities 1992), for example, sets progressive targets for member states to reduce the quantity of biodegradable municipal waste that goes to landfill, in order to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and promote recycling initiatives. The main environmental threat from biowaste that goes to landfill is the production of methane, which accounted for some 3% of total greenhouse gas emissions in the EU-15 in 1995. Since about 90% of the enlarged EU is rural, biowaste management is inextricably linked to agricultural and soil management policies, and the EU’s Rural Development Strategy. One potential option is composting. Actions that need to be taken at the EU level to promote composting include the definition of quality standards for compost, so that markets for compost can develop. Composting initiatives have a clear link to the EU’s thematic strategy for soils, which has recognised the need to address the problem of carbon depletion in soil and how to avoid and remedy it. There is clearly a potential of using compost as a means to increase the carbon content of soil. With regard to the energy content of organic waste, the composting option, however, does not allow recovery. Thus, anaerobic treatment (fermentation) to produce biogas and recycle the nutrients with the remaining sludge back to the fields seems to provide an even more sustainable systemic use of organic waste in the future. The progressive implementation of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive 91/271/EEC in all Member States is increasing the quantities of sewage sludge requiring disposal. From an annual production of some 5.5 million tonnes of dry matter in 1992, by the end of 2005 this was nearly 9 million tonnes. This was the result of the rise in the number of households connected to sewers and the increase in the level of treatment promoted by the EU and member states. The Sewage Sludge Directive 86/278/EEC seeks to encourage the use of sewage sludge in agriculture and to regulate its use in such a way as to prevent harmful effects on soil, vegetation, animals and man. Thus it prohibits the use of untreated sludge on agricultural land unless it is injected or incorporated into the soil. The use of agricultural land for the disposal of sewage sludge, does, however, represent an important additional use of such land. Sludge is rich in nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous, and contains valuable organic matter that is useful when soils are depleted or subject to erosion. The organic matter and nutrients are the two main elements that make the spreading of this kind of waste on land as a fertiliser or an organic soil improver suitable. In the context of recycling, therefore, appropriate L3 indicators would be the amount of development or redevelopment on brownfield land, and the volumes or areas of agricultural (or forest land) used for biowaste or sludge disposal. In addition, recycling of materials and products may be regarded to have a potentially significant indirect effect on landscape and soil especially for metals where the recycling strategy is key for sustaining the supply-use chain. Indirect impacts may also be considered for forestry products (e.g. recycling of paper), chemical products (e.g. recycling of plastics), food products (e.g. fermentation of organic household waste to produce biogas), machines and motor vehicles (e.g. through recycling of the main compo111


nents such as metals), energy supply (e.g. cascading use of (bio)materials in order to recover energy content and contribute to energy supply), waster supply (e.g. reuse of grey water), construction (e.g. recycling of construction and demolishing waste). Increased recycling will reduce the requirements for primary biomass, minerals or water resources and thus have an impact on the areas used to provide these resources.

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 42: Relevance assessment to recycling

XX

X

XX

X

X

X

X

O

X

X

O

Level 2: Composition of material input The composition of crops 9 has a significant impact on the aspects of landscape, soil and biodiversity. For instance, maize cropping differs significantly from extensive grass land cultivation in many respects, and logging in European forests affects biodiversity less than logging in tropical forests. Basic metals may differ with regard to their ecological rucksack and thus the impacts by mining and refining. Some chemical products may be either used in a rather closed circuit or under controlled conditions, but others such as fertilizers are used in an open dispersive manner. Food products may have a profoundly different impact on land use requirements depending on whether the food is plant or animal based. Energy supply may rely on land intensive lignite mining, or on photovoltaics integrated to roofs and surfaces of buildings. Water supply may be based on surface or near surface underground water bodies or on fossil water. Construction may rely on mineral or biomass based materials, which differ significantly regarding land use requirements.

9

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 43: Relevance assessment to composition of material input

XX

XX

XX

XX

XX

X

X

XX

X

X

O

Material input used of the agriculture and forestry sector are defined (a) as harvested biomass in economy-wide MFA, and (b) as fertilizer and water etc. in process oriented analyses; both aspects are interrelated, e.g. a high production of biomass in the form of maize requires high amounts of fertilizer and water.

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Level 2: Material intensity Material intensity may be considered with regard to the variation of direct material input, as well as direct and indirect primary material requirements related to (a) the land used for production, which indicates the land use intensity and pressures to local conditions of landscapes, soil and biodiversity; and (b) to the economic output of the sectors (in physical terms – which provides a mass input per mass output relation; in functional terms like material input per service unit; or in monetary terms, which provides a measure of the inverse resource productivity). A variation of the latter may influence the impacts on landscapes, soils and biodiversity at least indirectly. In agriculture and forestry, the impacts on landscape, soil and biodiversity grow with the amount of harvest per hectare. Indirect profound impacts are represented by soil erosion (which is a constituent element of material intensity analysis). The cradle-toproduct material intensity of food products critically determines the impacts via agriculture. The material intensity of construction – in the current phase of physical growth of the technosphere – directly determines the amount of additional houses and infrastructures being built and thus the loss of semi- or natural land. The material intensity of all other production sectors has at least an indirect effect on the resource requirements of minerals and biomass and the associated land use for mining, manufacturing, storage and final disposal.

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 44: Relevance assessment to material intensity

XX

XX

X

X

XX

x

x

X

x

XX

X

Level 1 – Consumption patterns Level 2 – Food and Drink The development of consumerism and consumer values is likely to shape the structure of production systems and their ‘spatial foot-print’, through concerns over food security, price and food quality. The impact that this may have on landscape, biodiversity and soils can be seen in the growth of ‘local products’ and its role in the rural economy. As the European Landscape Convention pointed out, future prosperity will also depend on the preservation of regional and local identities. Preserved landscape or regional food labelling can actually be an important resource in times of increasing pressures of globalization on economies. Local food production systems may also be encouraged by the desire of consumers to reduce ‘food miles’. Consumption patterns and their effect on land use and local productions systems are also likely to be affected by the policies adopted by the major food distributors, and 113


changing public attitudes to food quality, food security and price. Appropriate L3 indicators are difficult to construct in this area, given the difficulty of acquiring data, however, one should attempt to look at the value or mix of local or regionally specific produce, or value of food products produced by specific farming systems (e.g. organic vs. conventional agriculture). The demand for food and drink products has also indirect effects on the demand for chemicals (used in food production and agriculture), energy supply (because food industry is rather energy intensive), water supply (for direct consumption and predominantly for food processing and energy supply), and transport (throughout the production-consumption chain). In order to measure the global land use associated with domestic consumption, the global land use for the consumption of agricultural goods (which constitutes a main part of net global land use), both intra and beyond EU, can be used (Bringezu and Steger 2005).

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 45: Relevance assessment to food and drink

XX

O

O

X

XX

O

O

X

X

O

X

Level 2 – Housing Urban expansion or urban sprawl is widely recognised as an important issue in many European countries. The EEA has shown that between 1990 and 2000, for example, urban areas and associated infrastructure increased by more than 800,000 ha in Europe as a whole (i.e. EU23), or roughly 5.3%. While the actual area of increase is small compared to the total stock of land available, analysis shows that urban growth is highly concentrated, occurring in places where expansion had already occurred in the previous two decades. Urban sprawl is particularly evident in many of Europe’s coastal areas and has had considerable implications for the Mediterranean, which is one of the 34 global hotspots for biodiversity. At present rates of change there would be a doubling of the urban area in Europe in the next century (EEA 2006a). Although the economic and social consequences of urban expansion are advantageous, rapid development places pressures on environment through the modifications to patterns of consumption of energy and material resources, the production of waste, and the indirect impacts of the expansion of artificial surfaces wider environmental resources systems (e.g. through increased risks of flooding). In terms of impacts on wider resource systems, urbanisation impacts on the ‘water environment’ through increases in surface sealing which alters the rate at which water is discharged from

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catchments, by increasing pollution loads as a result of expansion of transport infrastructures, changing local microclimates, and by fragmenting semi-natural habitats. Appropriate L3 indicators in this area would be spatially disaggregated rates of urban sprawl (or more precisely: built-up area comprising land covered by buildings and infrastructures), and the proportion of new built-up area associated with residential use.

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 46: Relevance assessment to housing

X

X

X

O

O

O

O

XX

X

XX

X

Level 2 – Leisure The rise of individualism and leisure lifestyles is impacting on the structure of rural communities through the growth of tourism, recreation-based economies, part-time farming and the ownership of ‘second homes’. These pressures are likely to transform land use patterns in many locations, with a consequent impact on landscape, biodiversity and soils. For example, the expansion of holiday let and second homes in many Mediterranean areas (e.g. Algarve) has transformed the traditional agricultural landscapes in many areas, leading both to the loss of traditional land management skills, and the expansion of service-based industries in rural areas (e.g. golf courses). The withdrawal of farming in some areas has led to significant landscape change through reduced management inputs. Development pressure has also impacted upon, and may ultimately be limited by, the availability of natural resources such as water.

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles10

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 47: Relevance assessment to leisure 11

XX

X

O

O

O

O

O

O

X

X

X

10

note: transport and mobility related to leisure is covered under transport

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Level 2 – Transport and Communication Energy consumption in the transport sector (and the associated emission of greenhouse gases) is increasing steadily within the EU because transport volumes are growing faster than the energy efficiency of different means of transport (EEA 2006d). The increase in greenhouse gas emissions from transport now threatens European progress towards its Kyoto targets. Therefore, additional policy initiatives and instruments are needed, which may impact on travel patterns and behaviors, with secondary impacts on land use. In addition to the goals outlined above under economic growth, the European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP) aims to ensure that the development of transport infrastructures, does not have adverse impacts on the environment generally and the integrity of the Natura2000 ecological network either at national or local scales. The development of transport routes has been one of the major factors that have led to the fragmentation of habitats in Europe, and the loss of ecological integrity through the impacts of diffuse pollution. The transport sector is a major source of nitrogen. The eutrophication of habitats and soils as a result of N-deposition is a major driver of change in biodiversity and soils in Europe.

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 48: Relevance assessment to transport and communication

X

X

O

O

O

O

X

XX

X

XX

XX

Level 1 – Demography Level 2 – Ageing society As we look to the future, key economic and social drivers that are likely to impact on land use and landscapes will also include the effects of demographic change and specifically the increasing numbers of older people, which is likely to cause changes in consumption and activity patterns associated with populations in different areas. Although the process of land abandonment observed in many areas of Europe already reflects such pressures, the consequences of ageing is likely to be ones that will affect the structure and cohesion of rural communities more generally, as people age and their social needs and capacities change. Elder people will also require adjustment of homes, buildings and infrastructures according to their limited capabilities.

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Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 49: Relevance assessment to the ‘ageing society’

X

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

O

X

X

Level 2 – Settlement Patterns Changing settlement patterns will impact on landscape and indirectly on biodiversity of soils mainly through interactions in the agricultural and construction sectors. Patterns of migration and the development of more multi-cultural societies are also likely to affect the balance between urban and rural communities with consequential change in patterns of land use. There have, for example, been major changes in the structure of land ownership and management in countries that have recently joined the EU resulting from external investment in more intensive modes of agricultural production. Impacts are, however, difficult to disentangle from those related to changes in population density (see below).

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 50: Relevance assessment to settlement patterns

X

O

O

O

O

O

X

O

O

X

X

Level 2 – Population density Although population growth in Europe is generally low, internal migration and shifts in the balance of population between rural and urban areas is likely to be significant in the future, and will impact upon landscape through changes in land use and land management. In some parts of Europe, inner city regeneration and the construction of more compact urban forms is likely to increase population densities of some city areas. By contrast, increased mobility (and IT supported home working) is likely to encourage more dispersed settlement patterns across wider city hinterlands.

117


Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 51: Relevance assessment to population density

X

O

O

O

O

O

X

X

X

X

X

Level 1 – Natural system conditions Level 2 – Climate change and Natural Catastrophes The impacts of all the economic and social drivers noted above on landscape, biodiversity and soils, will, it seems certain, occur against a backdrop of important changes in the wider biophysical environment. As we look to the future, climate change, for example, is likely to be an important driver of land use and landscape change by virtue of its impacts on patterns of agricultural and forestry production, the development of semi-natural habitats and sea level rise. The possibility of more extreme weather events leading to more intense periods of flooding or drought are also likely to impact locally on planning polices and strategies. The impacts of climate change on the management of land to ensure the maintenance of both water quantity and quality is also likely to emerge as a key issue affecting future land use and landscape change. A particularly important issue is likely to be the impact of climate change on water availability. In recent years, for example, agricultural prosperity in many Mediterranean regions has depended on the expansion of irrigated agriculture (e.g. southern Spain and Greece). The extent to which such patterns of activity can be sustained in the future, and the consequences of decline for the wider landscape, cannot be underestimated. However, as the IPCC (IPCC 2007a) Report has shown, in other areas of Europe, society will have to cope with increased water volumes and the higher flood risk. Given the juxtaposition of flood risk areas and major centres of population, the planning and land management implications are considerable. The possibility of land use changes resulting from managed coastal retreat must also be considered. Climate is clearly an important factor that determines patterns of biodiversity at European scales. However, the IPCC (IPCC 2007b) notes that the reaction of European ecosystems to global change is difficult to predict because there are a number of interactions and feedback loops between increasing temperatures, decreasing availability of soil water, and increasing carbon dioxide concentrations. Nevertheless, it can be argued that most of Europe’s natural ecosystems are generally fragmented, disturbed and confined to poor soils, a set of characteristics that makes them potentially more sensitive to climate change. Changing climate patterns will have a profound effect on biodiversity, by affecting patterns of distribution, migration and reproduction for a wide range of species. Change per se for ‘biodiversity’ is not perhaps a significant issue, providing ecological systems have the time and space to adjust. Over geological time, 118


FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

climate has in fact, rarely been stable. The problems that contemporary climate change poses mainly arise from the speed at which it is occurring and the fact that the fragmented structure of many European landscapes may prevent species migration and reestablishment to take place. The IPCC reports (IPCC 2007b) that the survival of some species and forest types may be endangered by the projected movement of climate zones at rates faster than migration speeds. High elevation ecosystems and species are particularly vulnerable. The challenge of creating an ‘appropriate space’ within which nature can readjust poses a considerable challenge for those concerned with land use planning and the conservation of biodiversity. If we turn to agro-ecosystems, clearly climate change and associated extreme weather events are most likely to impact on the agricultural and forestry sectors. The IPCC Regional Assessment for Europe also suggests that likely trends in Europe will be that: •

Risks of frost would be reduced in a warmer climate, allowing winter cereals and other winter crops to expand to areas such as southern Fennoscandia and western Russia.

Potential yields of winter crops are expected to increase, especially in central and southern Europe, assuming no other factor is limiting.

Increasing spring temperatures would extend suitable zones for most summer crops.

Summer crop yield increases are possible in central and eastern Europe, though decreases are possible in western Europe.

Decreases in precipitation in southern Europe would reduce crop yields and make irrigation an even larger competitor to domestic and industrial water use.

Forest productivity is expected to decline and the frequency of peatland fires to increase.

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 52: Relevance assessment to climate change

XX

XX

O

O

O

O

O

X

XX

O

O

Level 2 – Natural Catastrophes The most relevant catastrophes, such as heavy flooding and storm events, seem to result also from climate change. The IPCC reports that nearly all European regions are anticipated to be adversely affected by climate change and it can be suggested that this will interact with all of the economic sectors considered here to impact on landscape, biodiversity and soils. Overall, climate change is expected to increase regional differences in Europe’s natural resources and assets, and expose them to higher vul-

119


nerability through increased risk of inland flash floods, and more frequent coastal flooding and increased erosion (due to storminess and sea level rise).

Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 53: Relevance assessment to natural catastrophes

XX

XX

O

O

XX

O

O

XX

XX

XX

XX

Level 2 – Resource depletion Resource depletion in agriculture may arise from unsustainably intensive farming, e.g. with high losses of soil due to erosion, which may force agriculture to move to other areas (e.g. abandoning highly erodible land in the Mediterranean), and may impact also regional security of food supply. Depletion of biodiversity in forests may result in higher losses in the course of storm events. Continuous depletion of European coal reserves leads to growing volumes of unused extraction and thus a relative increase of landscape change per unit of energy produced. A similar tendency can also be observed for metal mining where steady depletion of resources leads to the extraction of gradually declining ore grades, which results in higher amounts of mining waste. Local and regional depletion of mineral resources, e.g. for gravel, leads to changes in mineral supply for construction and higher transport distances (if modes of construction do not adapt by increased resource efficiency). Also water resources are depleted, again triggered by climate change. Up to 95 per cent of Alpine glacier mass could disappear by 2100 (IPCC 2007a), with subsequent consequences for the water flow regime—affecting, for example, summer water supply, shipping and hydropower, and biodiversity patterns in river systems. In addition, in some areas, winter tourism would be negatively affected thereby impacting on rural land use patterns in mountainous areas. For each of the level 2 factors described above, appropriate level 3 indicators would consist of spatially disaggregated measures of land use change and agricultural and forest productivity, and the economic impact of natural events on different activity sectors.

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Agriculture

Forestry

Basic metals

Chemicals and chemical products

Food products and beverages

Machinery equipment

Motor vehicles

Energy supply

Water supply

Construction

Transport

Table 54: Relevance assessment to resource depletion

X

X

X

O

X

O

O

XX

XX

XX

X

Summary The results of the analysis conducted above, is summarized in a single matrix (Table 55) and investment, together with changes in consumption and production patterns are likely to be key socio-economic drivers of change in relation to the three themes (landscape, soil and biodiversity), because they fundamentally influence the way in which land cover is transformed and managed over time, and the way land resources are allocated between different activity sectors in the economy. Their influence needs to be considered, however, against a backdrop of drivers more related to the natural environment. The influence of climate change is likely to be particularly important although the consequences are difficult to predict. While the effects of climate change will be significant in biophysical terms, a range of indirect consequences may also be triggered through the effect that changes in climate will have for global and national patterns of production and consumption.

121


Table 55: Analysis of underlying drivers for landscapes, biodiversity and soils

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6.5.

Determination of cross-cutting driving forces

In the preceding sections, the relevance of the influence of a number of underlying factors on each of the three environmental themes has been assessed in the context of eleven economic activities. Table 56 compiles the results of the relevance study. As before, ‘XX’ means that a Level 2 underlying factor has been classified as very relevant, having a direct effect on the pressures and the resulting impacts due to a given activity on a given environmental topic. A single ‘X’ means that the underlying factor is perceived as relevant in that it shows an indirect link (e.g. via the process-chain) between one underlying factor and the pressures related to a given activity. Table 56 gives an overview of the L1-L2-L3 classification of underlying factors used in the preceding sections. This framework and most particularly the Level 3 indicators are intended to serve as building blocks for the subsequent work packages of the FORESCENE project, especially for the scenario building parts and as modelling parameters. The forthcoming work packages will use Table 57 as a basis to further refine the underlying factors and to make them operational, according to the further needs and findings from the Project. Some interesting results, however, already emerge from this analysis: some of the L3 indicators, for example, are exactly the same for each of the topic areas. This is certainly the case for some of the GDP-indicators (for L2 ‘economic growth’), or the physical trade balance (for L2 ‘globalisation’). In some other cases, the indicators only differ by the focus on different flows and stocks (e.g. input of sensitive materials and input of underground water for the L2 ‘composition of material input’, in the case of resource use and water, respectively). The indicators can also focus on different scales, e.g. indicators measuring investment or urban sprawl at an aggregate level can be used for resource and water use, as well as for landscape, biodiversity and soils, if spatially differentiated. The main aim of WP1 was to identify cross cutting driving forces for the three environmental fields. The analysis is fundamental no only for the work in WP1 but also lies at the core of the whole project. Table 56 provides the results of the relevance analysis based on experts’ views, published data, literature and other sources. To increase the readability and facilitate the interpretation of these results, a systematic ‘scoring’ method was conducted. In order to assess the importance of the activities and underlying factors the number of ‘X’s were counted for each couple ‘activity’— ‘underlying factor’. Bonus points are given if the couple ‘underlying factor’—‘activity’ received at least one ‘X’ per environmental theme each. The corresponding intersection is then coloured in red. The maximum score is seven, i.e. three times ‘XX’ and a bonus point for the cross-cutting character. The scores of the ‘underlying factor’— ‘activity’ couples are then added row and column wise. In the former case, the result gives an insight into the overall relevance of a given underlying factor regarding all activities and environmental themes. In the latter case, the result reflects the overall importance of a given activity regarding all underlying factors and environmental themes. The maximum score which a column (i.e. an activity) can reach is 119. The maximum score which can be obtained for a row (i.e. for 123


an underlying factor) is 77. The activities and underlying factors listed in Table 58 are coloured differently (from white to darker shades of pink), depending on their scores, with thresholds for results lower than 40% of the maximum possible score, between 40% and 50%, between 50% and 60%, and over 60%. The colour codes of Table 58 were designed to ease the interpretation of the results of the relevance analysis. As the table clearly shows, energy supply, agriculture, water supply and construction appear to be the activities most susceptible to cause pressures and impacts on the three environmental themes. Transport, forestry, chemicals, basic metals, and food products are also activities potentially important to consider, though to a lesser extent. Regarding the underlying factors, the L1 categories ‘production patterns’ and ‘economic development’ obviously achieve the highest scores, as can be seen in Table 58. In the former group, ‘material intensity’, ‘composition of material input’, ‘innovation’ and ‘recycling’ seem powerful underlying factors. They all have a strong, direct and crosscutting influence on the three environmental topics within most considered activities. ‘Globalisation’, ‘economic growth’ and ‘investment patterns’ present similar results for the latter group. These underlying factors, however, only seem to have cross-cutting environmental effects within a more limited number of activities. This observation should be reviewed and refined later in the project, as one reason behind this could be that the character of certain underlying factors is too general, making them difficult to assess (e.g. ‘economic growth’). ‘Natural system’ and ‘consumption patterns’ follow ‘production patterns’ and ‘economic development’ in the ranking. ‘Depletion of resources’, ‘climate change’ for the former group, and ‘food and drink’ and ‘transport and communication’ for the latter seem to be the most relevant L2 underlying factors. One should, however, think beyond the absolute scoring result and remember that an indirect link between an underlying factor and an environmental problem was translated by only one ‘X’ in the relevance analysis. ‘Natural system’ and ‘consumption patterns’ are therefore probably important indirect drivers which should not be neglected, especially in the context of agriculture, construction, energy and water supply, and transport. Within these activities, the aforementioned underlying factors, indeed, seem to have a fair amount of cross-cutting driving influence.

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FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers Table 56: Analysis of underlying drivers for the three environmental topics (resource use and waste, water and water use, and landscape, biodiversity and soils)

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Table 57: Underlying factors (Level 1 to 3) used for the relevance analysis L3 - Indicators Water and water use Landscape, biodiversity and soils GDP, GDP / cap, GDP growth rate Economic growth life expectancy, literacy rate, level of health care TMR per GDP, DMI per GDP water use per GDP spatially disaggregated measures of economic growth physical trade balance (PTB) to look at burden shifting issues monetary trade balance (MTB): insight into the equity of trade between two partners. Economic development Globalisation physical volume of exchanges if possible including imports and exports of agricultual products, of mining products hidden flows investment in fixed or human capital, gross fixed capital formation, expenditure on education, percentage of enterprises providing CVT (Continuing Vocational Investment patterns Training) courses, percentage of people benefiting from lifelong learning spatially disaggregated measures of investment indicators related to specific land use change, the mix of agricultural outputs disaggregated spatially, and the expenditure on research and development, e.g. GERD (Gross domestic Expenditure on R&D Innovation levels of R&D investment made in sectors related to biofuel and industrial crop production rate of secondary production recycling of blue water (including grey water) (re)development on brownfield land volumes or areas of agricultural (or forest land) used for recycling rate Recycling biowaste or sludge disposal products' lifetime, position in the life cycle of a production-consumption system Production patterns share of renewables, biomass detailed composition per activity sector Composition of material input share secondary materials water input deep ground water and (near) surface water input of sensitive materials (hazardous, precious…) input material intensity, measured as material input per Material intensity economic output (in physical, functional or economic water intensity terms) value or mix of local or regionally specific produce, value Food & drink demand for animal and plant based food of food products produced by specific farming systems (e.g. organic vs. conventional agriculture). spatially disaggregated rates of urban sprawl, proportion Consumption patterns Housing the average size of households, level of income of new built-up area associated with residential use L1 - Underlying factors

L2 - Underlying factors

Leisure Transport & communication Ageing society Demography

Population settlements Population density

Resource use and waste

average vacation time, distances travelled per cap, growth of tourism, part-time farming, ownership of ‘second homes’, level of income car ownership, energy use and emissions from transport, average electronic equipment rate, level of income average population age, life expectancy, share of population over 65 shares of rural and urban populations, number of households, size of households, land ownership, multicultural society, patterns of migrations population density precipitations level, frequency of extreme weather episodes (drought periods, flooding events…), economic impact of natural events on different activity sectors

Climate change Natural System Depletion of resources

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Natural catastrophes

spatially disaggregated measures of land use change and agricultural and forest productivity estimates of sizes of groundwater resources, spatially disaggregated measures of land use change ratio unused over used extraction, ore grade level of water table, fish stocks and agricultural and forest productivity type, frequency, intensity of natural catatrophes, economic impact of natural events on different activity sectors


Table 58: Results of the scoring method used to determine the cross-cutting drivers and the most relevant activities and underlying factors

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7. Conclusions The purpose of FORESCENE’s work package one was, first, to delineate the three environmental themes ‘resource use and waste’, ‘water and water use’, and ‘landscape, biodiversity and soils’. The second aim of WP 1 was to determine cross-cutting drivers influencing together the three environmental issues. Figure 36 offers an overview of the work structure in WP 1. The results have shown that the activities ‘energy supply’, ‘agriculture’, ‘water supply’ and ‘construction’ seem to be the biggest contributors to environmental pressures across the three themes. ‘Transport’, ‘forestry’, ‘chemicals’, ‘basic metals’, and ‘food products’ are also activities or product groups that should be further considered, though to a lesser extent. This all gives insight into some parameters (here activities) to include in future integrated sustainable scenarios. The underlying factors under the headline ‘production patterns’ present the highest potential for cross-cutting actions against the three environmental fields. Almost all activity fields are also sensitive to ‘production patterns’. Given its high overall score the underlying factor ‘material intensity’ should be regarded as a core element for future integrated sustainability scenarios. Regarding the ‘economic development’, the underlying factor ‘investment patterns’ seems the most appropriate, even though parameters like ‘globalisation’ and ‘economic growth’ achieved a higher score. The global economy and its growth have indeed their own momentum, other parameters adjust their values to the variations of such factors. Investment, on the other hand, can be controlled, regulated and taxed. For these reasons these parameters should thus be integrated in future ISSs frameworks. The ‘consumption patterns’ and the ‘natural system’ scored less than the two aforementioned categories because the link of these two underlying factors with the environmental problems is rather indirect. Furthermore the latter is very difficult to influence. E.g. geo-engineering which aims at controlling the climate has not yet convinced that the cost/benefit balance would be in its favour. The tremendous issue of problem shifting would also arise. ‘Consumption patterns’, however, could be addressed in ISSs, even though the potential cross-cutting benefits would be tricky to reach due to the multiple links with other parameters. The suggested cross-cutting underlying factors shall be closer considered in the next work packages of FORESCENE. WP 2 will actually establish the essentials for ISSs building. This will be done independently from the results of WP 1. But from WP 3 onwards, use will be made of the results of WP 1. The actual scenario building and the possible modelling perspectives will require a deeper description and delimitation of the cross-cutting drivers. A reliable and operational parameterization of these underlying factors will also be needed.

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FORESCENE D.1.3 – Technical report Description of problem areas, review of objectives and determination of cross-cutting drivers

Figure 36: General overview of the rationale and the work structure behind the results of WP 1 (determination of cross-cutting drivers of the pressures and impacts on three environmental topics)

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EEA (2005b) The European environment. State and outlook 2005. Office for official publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg EEA (2005c) Source apportionment of nitrogen and phosphorus inputs into the aquatic environment. Office for official publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg EEA (2005d) European environment outlook. Office for official publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg EEA (2006a) Land and Ecosystem Accounts for Europe, 1990-2000. Towards integrated land and ecosystem accounting. Office for official publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg EEA (2006b) Priority issues in the Mediterranean environment. Office for official publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg EEA (2006c) Integration of environment into EU agriculture policy — the IRENA indicatorbased assessment report. Office for official publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg EEA (2006d) Transport and environment: facing a dilemma. TERM 2005: indicators tracking transport and environment in the European Union. Office for official publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg European Topic Centre on Resource and Waste Management (ETC/RWM), (2004) Waste and Material Flows 2004. Current situation for Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia. European Topic Centre on Resource and Waste Management, Copenhagen EuroStat – Statistical Office of the European Communities (Ed.) (2001a). Economy-wide material flow accounts and derived indicators. A methodological guide (Edition 2000). Office for official publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg EuroStat – Statistical Office of the European Communities (Ed.) (2001b) Material use indicators for the European Union 1980-1997. Economy-wide material flow accounts and balances and derived indicators of resource use (2/2001/B/2) (Edition 2001). Office for official publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg EuroStat – Statistical Office of the European Communities and IFF (2002) Data Set B. IFF, Wien EuroStat – Statistical Office of the European Communities (Ed.) (2004) Innovation in Europe. Results for the EU, Iceland and Norway. Office for official Publications of the European Communities. Luxembourg EuroStat – Statistical Office of the European Communities (2005) Europe in figures Eurostat yearbook 2005. Office for official publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg Falkenmark, M. (2004) Towards Integrated Catchment Management: Opening the Paradigm Locks between Hydrology, Ecology and Policy-making. International Journal of Water Resources Development 20(3), pp. 275-282. Falkenmark, M. and Lindh, G.(1993) Water and Economic Development. In: Gleick, P. H. (Ed.) Water in Crisis. A Guide to the World's Fresh Water Resources. Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 80 – 91. Fischer – Kowalski, M. (1998) Society’s Metabolism. The intellectual history of materials flow analysis, Part I, 1860 – 1970 Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale University Fischer – Kowalski, M. and Hüttler, W. (1999) Society’s Metabolism. The intellectual history of materials flow analysis, Part II, 1970 – 1998 Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Yale University

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Helming, K. and H. Wiggering (Eds.) (2003) Sustainable Development of Multifunctional Landscapes. Springer, Berlin Hoffmann K. (2004) Untersuchung möglicher Einflussfaktoren auf den direkten Materialinput mehrerer Volkswirtschaften - Eine Analyse mit Zeit- und Querschnittsdimensionen – Diplomarbeit , Universität Dortmund IPCC (1997) IPCC Special report on the regional impacts of climate change - An assessment of vulnerability. IPCC IPCC (2007a) Climate Change 2007: Mitigation of Climate Change. Summary for Policymakers. IPCC IPCC (2007b) Climate Change 2007: Climate Change Impacts, Adaption and Vulnerabilty. IPCC Jamieson, D.G. and Fedra, K. (1996) The ‘WaterWare’ decision-support system for riverbasin planning. 1. Conceptual design. Journal of Hydrology 177(3-4) pp. 163-175. Kraemer, R., Landgrebe-Trinkunaite, R., Dräger, T., Görlach, B., Kranz, N. and Verbücheln, M. (2004) EU Soil Protection Policy: Current Status and the Way Forward. Background Paper to the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM)Thematic Assistance to the Conference “Vital Soil: the next step towards a European Soil Strategy” 18-19 November 2004 in the Netherlands. Ecologic Institut for International and European Environmental Policy, Berlin Letcher, K. and Guipponi, P. (2005) Policies and tools for sustainable water management in the European Union. Environmental modelling and software. 20(2) pp. 93-98. Mar, B.W. (1998). System requirement for water resource systems. Systems Engineering 1(1) pp. 14-30. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005) Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Synthesis. Island Press, Washington Moll, S., Bringezu, S. and Schütz, H. (2003) Zero Study: Resource Use in European Countries. An estimate of materials and waste streams in the Community, including imports ans exports using the instrument of material flow analysis. European Topic Centre on Resource and Waste Management, Copenhagen Moll, S., Acosta, J. and Schütz, H. (2005) Iron and Steel – A Material System Analysis. Pilot study examining the material flows related to the production and consumption of steek in the European Union. European Topic Centre on Resource and Waste Management, Copenhagen Moll, S., Bringezu, S. and Schütz, H. (2005) Resource Use in European Countries. An estimate of material and waste streams in the Community, including imports and exports using the instrument of material flow analysis. Wuppertal Institut for Climate, Environment, Energy, Wuppertal Moll, S., Vrgoc, M., Watson, D., Femia, A., Pedersen – Gravgard, O. and Villanueva, A. (2006) Environment Input-Output Analyses based on NAMEA data. A comparative European study on environmental pressures arising from consumption and production pattern. European Topic Centre on Resource and Waste Management, Copenhagen Müller, D. B. (2006) Stock dynamics for forecasting material flows – Case study for housing in The Netherlands. Ecological Economics, 59(1), pp. 142-156. OECD – Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (1999) The price of water, trends in OECD countries, OECD, Paris OECD – Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2005) Material flows and related indicators. Inventory of country activities. OECD, Paris

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9. Annex ANNEX Indicators derived from economy-wide MFA Total Material Requirement (TMR), Total Material Consumption (TMC) TMR (Total Material Requirement) measures the physical basis of an economy in terms of primary materials. TMR measurements for the EU have been published by the European Environment Agency (EEA). The ratio between GDP TMR is an important indicator to measure progress towards higher resource productivity. TMR accounts for the domestic resource extraction and the resource extraction associated with the supply of imports (all primary materials except water and air). TMR comprises raw materials which are further processed and which have an economic value, as well as so-called ‘hidden flows’ (“indirect flows” or “ecological rucksacks”). Hidden flows (HF) refer to materials which are extracted or otherwise moved by economic activities but which are not used in domestic production or consumption (mining waste such as overburden, erosion in agriculture etc.). These flows are not further processed and have no economic value, but impact on the environment. Especially in the vicinity of extraction sites they can cause considerable damage (e.g. landscape changes, hydrological impacts, eco-toxic effects). Furthermore, hidden flows consist of primary resource requirements of imported goods. These are accounted for from ‘cradle-to-border’ (comprising upstream unused and used extraction). Thus, ecological rucksacks measure the environmental impact which the EU causes in other countries by importing resource-intensive goods. The TMR indicator has already been used for EEA reporting (EEA 2005b). Indicating the resource base for production, TMR may also be used to measure resource productivity of an economy (GDP/TMR). TMC (Total Material Consumption) is defined as the total (life-cycle-wide) material use associated with domestic consumption activities. Like TMR the TMC includes ecological rucksacks of imported goods but exports and their ecological rucksacks are substracted. The subtraction of exports allows addition of TMC of different countries, because the substraction of exports avoids double counting of exchanged ecological rucksacks. Thus TMC equals TMR minus exports and their associated indirect flows. EUROSTAT has included TMC as a “best-needed” headline indicator in the set of indicators for the renewed Sustainable Development Strategy of the EU (Eurostat 2005). DMI (Direct Material Input) measures the input of materials into the domestic economy which are of economic value and which are processed and used in production and consumption activities. DMI comprises domestic extraction used (DEU) like fossil fuels, minerals and biomass. In addition it accounts for imports in physical terms (tonnes). Direct Material Input (DMI) indicates material use for total production (including export production. Therefore, DMI can be used to measure material productivity of an economy. DMC (Domestic Material Consumption) is defined as the total amount of materials directly used in an economy for final consumption. This excludes indirect flows (hidden flows or ecological rucksacks) and exports. Thus, DMC equals domestic used extrac135


tion (DUE) plus imports minus exports or simply DMI minus exports. DMC is defined in the same way as other key physical indicators such as gross inland energy consumption11.

Indicator

Formula

Subject

Total Material Requirement (TMR)

DMI + indirect flows

Domestic and imported resources including their ecological rucksacks, which are required for domestic production and consumption.

Total Material Consumption (TMC)

TMR – (exports + indirect flows of exports)

Domestic and imported resources including their ecological rucksacks, which are required for domestic consumption only (excluding exports).

Domestic Material Input (DMI)

domestic imports

Domestic and imported resources without ecological rucksacks, which are used for domestic production and consumption.

Domestic Material Consumption (DMC)

DMI - exports

11

material

http://ivm5.ivm.vu.nl/sat/chapdb.php?id=10 - ftn3 http://ivm5.ivm.vu.nl/sat/chapdb.php?id=10 - 3.

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used

+

Domestic and imported resources without ecological rucksacks, which are used for domestic consumption only (excluding exports).


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Project no.: 022793 FORESCENE Development of a